Although Google has always been the leader in Internet search, it is still worried about the threat posed by websites like Facebook and Twitter. Micro blogging sites and social networks have made information sharing faster and easier, as now-a-days Web is starting to revolve more around people than the keywords and links of search engines.
To survive in this tough competition Google again has taken a quantum leap by rolling out “Knowledge graph” which is derived from a database of over 500 million real-world people, places and things used by Google. This initiative has been taken to provide accurate answers to its users’. For instance, if anyone searches for ‘Taj Mahal’ along the traditional search engine results, users will get information about the monument along with the area in which it is located on the right hand side corner of the search engine page results. Knowledge graph will help users to get more refined results, It won’t show up a random list of websites that may or may not provide you the information you are looking for.
Google has also came out with broad Search results even from personal Gmail account, which lets the users to search for a particular keyword even if it is mentioned in their Gmail messages from Google search box. But even after achieving such accomplishments, Google is still striving to create that perfect search engine. In a recent interview Google search chief – Amit Singhal told that how social networks preventing Google to create a perfect search engine. Take a look at how Google is threatened by these social networking websites?
Amit Singhal, said “both of the changes, the new secure and private line allowing people to privately access their Gmail account via the main Google.com search box, are steps towards the holy grail: pre-emptive search. That is, a search engine that knows what you want before you even ask.”
But Amit Singhal is still in a fix because of the data Google cannot access. Google cannot ever achieve 100% results search engine which can crawl all the possible data until Facebook and Twitter exist and refuse to open their networks – something Amit Singhal abhors.
Amit Singhal quoted that “The question about other social networks is a very important one. We believe that this is users’ data and yet we have to make a deal with third-party social network, such as Facebook, to actually give access back to the users – because clearly we cannot crawl these social networks.”
He further added “In this day and age when users have created the data on these third-party social networks – but they don’t fully control where they can index and search their data – we need to debate this.”
“Indeed as things stand – these companies who are running these closed platforms do allow or disallow other companies to provide services on their data. Users need to decide.”
Amit Singhal made an impressive statement by acknowledging the benefits of Internet without the walled gardens. Google search engine would not function at its best without an open-web.
Even after acknowledging the need of open web we still wonder that Google+, Google’s own social network, is still protected by walls that does not allow its users seamlessly feed their status updates through to rivals Facebook or Twitter.
Google is already accused of biased search results by the regulators and it is also confirmed that Google will pay $22.5m (£14.4m) to the US Federal Trade Commission to settle charges that it bypassed the privacy settings of people using Apple’s Safari browser.
Earlier this year Google was also charged by Twitter, Facebook and Myspace to make changes to its search engine to promote content of Google+ only, as soon as the social network was launched.
Amit Singhal refused to spill the beans about any settlement with Facebook and Twitter but he admitted that search results on Google+ “have now settled in a place which were better than when we launched”.
Amit Singhal quoted in defense of prioritization of Google+ content that “I think it’s a learning process – even for us. We experiment, we learn, we improve – that’s what Google does.”
Currently Google is trying to strike negotiation with European regulators over accusations for the manipulated search results to favor its own products. Amit Singhal does not comment on ongoing legal matters.
In the end, we must commend Amit Singhal for a brilliant vision of search. But it is somewhat hindered by Google’s own personal intent to dominate the web, even if it has to sacrifice users’ privacy and freedom of choice.