Sunday, November 22, 2009

Google: Where is the realtime - and social data in your index ?

Tinyurl, Twitter and social networks pose a significant risk for Google. And even for Google THIS might not be easy solve. 

Increasing amounts of data is either part of realtime communication like Twitter or buried in social networks like facebook. Neither of those data streams are included sufficiently in Googles search results. 

However this data is very relevant for our search results. News are now often revealed by Twitter messages and traffic is directed by shortened URLs in those messages. All pages and news which are actively discussed by the Twitter community should be ranked higher in my search results.  Similarly we would want links which are mentioned frequently in our own social network to be ranked higher in any search we do. 

Both streams of data are difficult for Google. The internal structure of the Google index does not cope very well with realtime data. Googles index is replicated across its vast number of servers which means that any index change travels some significant time in Googles infrastructure until it is available to all searches across the world. The largely decentralized structure of Googles infrastructure with thousands of servers once estimated to be Googles core strength might therefore become a major competitive disadvantage for Google.

Social networking data poses a different challenge. Google naturally does not have any access to the private data in social networks. While users will want this data to be included in their overall search results they will be very reluctant to give Google access to this data. 

On my personal behaviour i already noticed a significant behaviour shift. Depending on the topic i started using alternative search engines like Twitter search and Facebook search.

With Adsense being the major cash cow, is Google doomed to fail ? In the next two posts we will be exploring some principles how Google might solve this problems.


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