Quick post for today, but answering a common question that people have about the future of search – whether or not the most popular search engines can ever be beaten.
Spoiler Alert! The answer is yes.
Take DuckDuckGo.com, for example. It’s a simple search engine with no ads that doesn’t track your search history. It covers the main issues that people have with Google – the fact that Google has started to track your search history, thus reducing your overall privacy. Duck Duck Go does none of that, allowing you to search at your leisure with no fear of being tracked.
There are also semantic search engines, which use algorithms that take context and research into account to match people with answers to their queries. A list of these types of search engines can be found here, and while Google tries – in some ways – to provide semantic search results, these search engines use all types of personal data to get you the best match possible. They’re imperfect as well, but they may provide better search results than Google, Bing, and Yahoo!.
Right now these websites are unpopular, and unlikely to pick up any time in the near future. But a decade from now – possibly even sooner – any one of those search engines may gain traction to the point of becoming a leader in search. Google, Bing – they’re great search engines, but they’re not infallible, and someday they may become obsolete.
Why is This Important?
There are two reasons why I bring this up. The first is that many search engines have changed their algorithms to punish websites in ways they don’t deserve, so any company or website worried that they’ll struggle if Google continues to change the way its search works shouldn’t panic.
The other reason this is important is because the one thing that all of these search engines have in common is that they value quality content. 10 years from now, Google may make changes to its algorithm that force most websites away from the front page of Google. But these other search engines are going to refine their algorithms to reward great content, so investing in content now is the best chance you have of succeeding. Content will always be important, because only content can help search engines know what value you bring to the reader.