Part 2: Since There Is No Objective Way To Gauge Search . . . Brand Will Win
Take a look at this study. OK, it is a small sample size, but ask yourself: do you search the Internet based on brand? Do you believe that GOOG has the best search results?
It seems that some people do...and maybe it is more than some.
I believe that GOOG has the best results, that's why I use it. But I don't know for sure. GOOG doesn't publish its algorithm so I don't know if it is making the best choices for me, I trust in the brand.
The study showed that when a searcher was given an identical result set across Google, Yahoo, Windows Live Search and an in house search engine, Google and Yahoo came out as more relevant. Why? Because of the brand of the search engine. Despite the results pages being identical in content and presentation, participants indicated that Yahoo! and Google outperformed MSN Live Search and the in-house search engine.
If this is the case, that we are influenced by brand more than we are willing to admit, then the search market is wide open to some of the biggest brands in the mediasphere: Apple, Virgin, Coca-Cola, Gucci etc. Why not?
I remember that it used to be quite common to switch to the newest, hottest search engine. Infoseek, Excite, Hotbot, AltaVista, etc. Loyalty was easily compromised, new search was always just a click away.
GOOG has done very well in brand management. But, I have no way of telling that Google is better. There is no objective way to measure search engine performance. There are only subjective studies out there.
Search has become a commodity. There is no right answer to any single search query, multiple answers can be produced. Why not a Hugo Boss slant or an Apple slant to my search results?
So, how will GOOG stay ahead?
I have an answer...
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Please see: Part 1: Is Apple About To Launch Apple Search?