Much has been said about Google modifying the way it is searched and it switching to semantic. Semantic meaning: human speak rather than what it currently uses: machine speak that humans can understand.
On the other side of the ring, is Facebook. The mastodon social network has done well enough with advertising and Facebook credits to allow it an IPO — latest and highest valuations are putting it at above $100 billion. But that was only the end of the beginning. It is now a public company and the pressure is on for revenue growth.
Where’s the money on the web today? There’s a lot in “big data”. Who’s the king of big data today? Google is probably one of them. And how does Google make money from “big data”? By making it easily searchable to two million queries every minute.
[Update] The rubber has finally hit the road today, January 15th, 2013, with the announcement by Facebook of “Graph Search“.
Facebook a Search Engine?
Data to search, Facebook has a lot of it. Not only but it is social. By “social” read, generated and stamped by the “natural” activities of humans not yet looking to game the keywords density rules. Data that searchable AND social may thus be better at quenching our ever increasing thirst for search.
But, do you think of Facebook when you’re about to type a search query in a text field? Have you tried searching for something on Facebook other than people or brands? Not very quenching was it.
That’s the next crusade brewing on the web. The crusade of who will win the search war.
The Next Crusade
In the first crusade, Yahoo was left struggling in the dust, leaderless. Bing arrived too late. Both neglected the social element and, at the moment, do not really pose great threats to that first round’s winner.
Google is ubiquitous, it is a conversational verb. Better, most of us don’t imagine life without it and its myriad free products. This is not to mean that Google has no threats looming over it. Au contraire! The looming threat comes from that exact social layer it has tried to nail for years. The 2009 Google Wave Fever does illustrate that Google had well understood the importance of social for its very future competitive survival.
The basic conclusion is this: no algorithm — no matter how sophisticated — can, for now, replace human likes, dislikes and other social interactions about pieces of content they run into, in places where they spend increasing amounts of their lives. So, to taking stock, the current big data status is like this:
Shouldn’t these guys just merge? #not
Where Are They Now?
Third time’s a charm, Google now has a social network that may finally prove successful in the form of Google+. And for one ups, just in case, it is now adding “semantic” which allows it to look beyond search terms and into the actual meanings. How’s that for social 360?
Facebook is reportedly hard at work making its big data search worthy, and it’s no kidding. It’s effort included the help of an ex-googler and co-founder of Google Maps: Lars Rasmussen. Hopefully they’re also thinking semantic, searching non-keyword optimized content — should we call it “semantic content” for all the socially meaningful baggage it is supposed to carry? — may not prove efficient when using machine algorithms.
Let us not forget Twitter’s famed fire-hose. Which we haven’t seen much about as yet in terms of true deep public access as it is only available to deep pockets.
We’re in for very interesting times coming up, subscribe and stay tuned!
Feature image credit: http://siliconangle.com