If you read my tech blog at all, you’ll have seen me occasionally refer to issues with online search, mainly with Google because that’s my default search engine across all my devices. They don’t index this site for some reason either.
I’m finding that the returns I get from Google really aren’t great lately, particularly in the area of image search so I’ve changed the default search on my machine to Bing (which is a really stupid name albeit better than Yahoo). Their image search is better. I also started thinking about search in general. Google has a monumental amount of the market in Europe and I wonder how much of that is linked to their localisation practices in the early days. But they aren’t fulfilling my needs lately.
The Bing image search, which I didn’t much play with until very recently, is far better for several reasons – in certain respects it works more effectively like the Pinterest search which is extremely good at drill down searches and associated search strings which might return useful information to you. The underlying AI for pinterest is very good, but then it is basically image focused and, I suspect, exploits both textual and associative data. Bing has a similar offering which I like very much and ultimately, this is a good thing. But it also handles pure web search as well.
Google revolutionised web search but it seems to me that search is ripe for disruption. I think disruption to image search will come through something like Pinterest. In the meantime, I don’t think that Google’s qualitative evaluation of its search returns is as good as it might be given that they have had years to scale it and are investing heavily in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Ultimately, search, which has been gamed by search engine optimisation, now needs to game search engine optimisation.