Google Killer ? Wolfram Alpha etc

These past few days I’ve been stumbling on articles about Wolfram Alpha. How that it’d be the next search engine. How it’d be the Google killer. And so on.
Unfortunately, it’s not the first time I’ve heard about such claims.

I can’t remember exactly when I was first online on the Internet. Probably 1995. Back at that time, there was only a handful of websites. There was a book claiming to be the Yellow Page of Internet. It was enough to get me around.

Then the internet grew. Very quickly. So I started to utilize Yahoo to find websites of interest. At that time, Yahoo looks like DMOZ.org. Yes, seriously.
Anyway, it was enough for my needs.

But the Internet doesn’t stop growing. Then I realized that I’ll need a different kind of assistance, to enable me to continue utilize it as best as possible.

So I found AltaVista. Lycos. And others. A.k.a “search engines”

It was truly amazing. You can find what you’re looking for from several millions of pages on the Internet within several seconds. Totally unheard of. I became adept at utilizing it. People thought I’m an IT wizard. While actually I was just rather good at asking the right questions to Altavista.

One thing about the Internet is that it’s a free place. Everyone can do anything at anytime. Altavista was not left alone for long — soon others are gunning for its position.

Long story cut short – Yahoo made Google as its search engine, Google became successful, Yahoo cut the deal; but it was too late. Google already became the King of Search Engines.

So now others are gunning Google.
And they’re not always doing it exactly the same way as Google. Which is good.

We’ve heard about Mahalo. About Cuil. Metacrawler, Ask.com, etc.
However, after years, still none managed to unseat Google from its top position. Despite the fact that some are answering questions even better than Google.

For example, do you know that there are search engines that can process questions in natural language form ? Example : Who is the president of Indonesia ?

Awesome 🙂

START is the first web-based answering system, online since Dec 1993. Yes, what Wolfram Alpha trying to achieve is already done by MIT. 15 years ago.
That made START even more impressive.

Have a look around : Who is Sarah Connor ?

It can be biased too 🙂
What is the best programming language ?

It can even lie !
Are you alive ?

Ahem. Okay, back to the topic – with all these wonderful engines, why it’s Google that’s still on the top ?

It’s because performance alone doesn’t ensure success.

You need also :

(1) Marketing : Google is already a very well-known brand. It’s even included in Merriam-Webster dictionary.

Competing with such well-known brand is a significant challenge.

(2) Scalability : Incoming : Can the engine scale to today’s billions of pages out there on the Internet ?

Google could. Not all the others fare as well.

(3) Scalability : Outgoing : Keeping point 2 above in mind – can you reply to people’s questions within / under 1 second ?

Google could. Some others could too – by sacrificing point 2.

(4) Relevancy : Can you read people’s mind ? Oops, let me rephrase that – can you give relevant answers to the questions ?

This is not easy as it might be because Internet keeps changing. It’s a moving target.

A while ago I was using a search engine called GigaBlast.
It was pretty good, and at the time it was even faster than Google.

However, after a while it started giving me irrelevant results. When I checked, it was because of various SEO techniques being deployed. So it got tricked in certain queries.
But Google kept becoming better. So I went back to Google.

Any contender for Google’s seat must be able to compete in the long run. They must not stay the same, because Google is always becoming better.

Yeah, it might be a while before we saw someone killed Google. Actually, they may be absorbed into Google’s collective instead.

But just as two-person start-up managed to shook the search engine world several years ago by creating Google, we may very well witness that again in the next several years. Because on the Internet, nothing is sacred and forever.

294 thoughts on “Google Killer ? Wolfram Alpha etc

  1. Hello,

    Nice post I Like your site very well and continue to do so.

  2. Okay it appears I must wait 3 minutes for the site to respond after posting my comment or it doesn’t post and flags it as duplicate if I try to repost.

    Here’s my original comment:

    There’s a dozen of these google wannabes. They’ll all fail.

  3. It was just getting harder for users to get want they wanted on AV. At the same time google went for simplicity, and increasing user satisfaction, rather than bringing them in for something, and trying to spin/sell them on something else before providing what they came for.

  4. I am wondering if we still need search engines other than Google? It is just a wastage of time to fine more search engines to initiate more searches. I have read Cuil’s claims and blah blah of others but nothing work. I always get right results from Google and that is the only savior.

  5. I also have no doubt about this that Google playing a very significant role in our daily life routine. Internet is developing very rapidly, and every day is something new we get on it. Nice post I Like your blog and continue with the good work…..

  6. Nice post…….
    Google playing a very significant role in our daily life routine. Internet is developing very rapidly so this post is quite an interesting one for me. Thanks!
    Keep it up…….

  7. creating any search engine is really a tough job today. But it is the most competing field and every one likes to get a thing on a click. I have used many search engines but i have not got a complete search engine today yet google full fills near about all the requirements.

  8. I still believe that Google will not beaten for more 10 years, just look how aggressive they are developing new business, and improve their searching technology.

  9. I remember using metacrawler and altavista back in old days 1994-1999. Its all about branding, Google took over and is unstoppable now, loads of money to fight off any competition

  10. Im 83 and am so fascinated by Google as a corporation that I’m at last going to get a computer and see what it’s all about. We have a website for our luxury motor cruising business in Turkey but I’m let down by not having access to Google searching to see where we appear, and Google Earth and Analytics too
    Interesting posts, thanks

  11. today google is too big. Its will be good if there are some search engine to be google competitor.

  12. “It was just getting harder for users to get want they wanted on AV. At the same time google went for simplicity, and increasing user satisfaction, rather than bringing them in for something, and trying to spin/sell them on something else before providing what they came for”

  13. i don’t think it’ll be a google killer, the thing about google is that its not just a search engine anymore, they have had so much success in all parts of the computer revolution, even browsers and desktop modules.

  14. Yes, there’s many search engine beside google, but google is the best. it has biggest database ever. right now only google the best search engine

  15. I LOVED this article. I am a big fan of google, but one thing that it lacks is something you mentioned that some other search engines can do, and thats answer full questions. A lot of the time when i’m searching for a specific answer on google, i have to go through 3-4 different sites until i can find my answer. google should think about adding this kind of search feature.

  16. Certainly effective marketing is key. Google would never have risen to the place it is today without some savvy marketing tactics. Everyone can learn from this small start-up company. Even for the regular guys, like those are promoting a dental website, marketing is king.

  17. Thank you for the great job done. It would be great if you would push more to use the raw data that you make available for visual purpose to the people that are able to handle it and show some apps that can play with those data.

  18. Thank you for the excellent article. I wish you would consider posting and commenting again. Your presence is sorely missed.

  19. There have been a number of online shopping websites that have closed in the last couple of years due to bad business. If you happened to have purchased an item from such a store then all warranties no longer stand. It also happens sometimes that you have ordered a particular retail product but you receive a product you never ordered. You are then left to contact the company and request that the correct product be delivered to you.

  20. Doesn’t seem like it will be a google killer. Google is noun and a verb in our language. It’s here to stay.

  21. It would be very difficult for rest of world to have something comparable with Google. I am wondered to read that page where you asked it “”Are you Alive”and it answered that it is not. It is really very difficult thing to predict that what someone is asking and what is appropriate to show.

  22. I’ve just checked out Wolfram Alpha. The engine used to transform strings of equations into context-free languages is totally awesome. I thought these procedures could only be seen in theory or least in MatLab, but this search engine rocks!

  23. Hi,
    Fantastic post, wonderful breakdowns . Simply put ………. Very useful . Thanks heaps for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

  24. I bet that no other search engine can beat Google. Google is the best of all and will remain. The features provided by google are just awesome and simply very useful.

  25. I dont think there is any other search engine that will do better as google, ASK.com are really making a huge advert in the Uk now, maybe alot of ppl in the uk will start using them now.

  26. Certainly effective marketing is key. Google would never have risen to the place it is today without some savvy marketing tactics. Everyone can learn from this small start-up company. Even for the regular guys, like those are promoting a dental website, marketing is king.

  27. Google will remain the best as ever. No other search engine will be able to compete with it. The search power is fastest in Google with excellent results.

  28. I do SEO for Point2 clients and SEO mostly for Google. But this new search engine will certainly change the way searches are done. If it does take off and I think it will it will move up the usage ladder much faster than Google. Google paved the way so the road will not be so hard to travel

  29. A very close and nice observation. To be very true, even many popular search engines are fool enough to give irrelevant results. I think only Google is most relevant search engine at the moment.

  30. It would be great if you would push more to use the raw data that you make available for visual purpose to the people that are able to handle it and show some apps that can play with those data.
    “Thank for great job”

  31. Good work! Your post/article is an excellent example of why I keep comming back to read your excellent quality content that is forever updated. Thank you

  32. There are many such sites which claim to be more powerful than google search engine, but the lack in many features. Only google has the most powerful search with very informativ results. I don’t think so that any other search engine can even touch its tail.

  33. there are many fools claiming to be more powerfull than google but when it comes to actual performances ,, they fail and google turns out to be winner again.

  34. I really like your last sentence, “Nothing is sacred and forever”. Sooner or later, We’ll have something more sophisticated and wonderful, perhaps Google is going to make something similar in future. Although Google is efficient enough at the moment for all search needs but I can see lot more requirements and needs in future.

  35. Wolfram Alpha is different from many others; instead of relying on natural language algorithms to search the Web or providing some minor twist on the standard-issue keyword search, the site operates as a computational engine. Wolfram Alpha utilizes over 10 trillion pieces of data, over 50,000 algorithms and models, and linguistic capabilities for over 1,000 domains. So, google killer, Umm.. not yet but in future, may be

  36. I could say that using Google for searching different topics has indeed helped me a lot. I always get the best results from Google. In addition, Google is not just a search engine for me because it also stands out in terms of browsers, computer revolution and desktop modules.

  37. A very significant role in our daily life routine. Internet is developing very rapidly, and every day is something new we get on it. Nice post I Like your blog and continue with the good work…..

  38. I think google is the best, you may try finding more engines but ultimately you will get back to google. It is the best, Trying new one is not worth giving a shot.

  39. Yes i have read the article said that about 44% internet users used google to shopping, it is amazing that google can beat yahoo in just a few years.

  40. I Agree with you, Wolfram Alpha will need A Hell lot of Firepower to Index all Billions of webpages that today’s Internet have!

    And that power is not cheap!

  41. Google is the best search engine! Yes, there are a lot of other search engines, but Google is the most handy and has the greatest database. Now it’s impossible to imagine Internet without Google!

  42. Will there ever be a Google-killer? Maybe one of these days, far down the road from now. However for the time being, Google has established it’s hold on the SE game and doesn’t look like it plans on letting go anytime soon.

  43. thanks atas artikelnya …tapi sepertinya google masih yang terbaik dech untuk beberapa tahun kedepan atau mungkin selamanya…..

  44. It was just getting harder for users to get want they wanted on AV. Google went for simplicity, increasing user satisfaction, rather than trying to sell them something else before providing what they came for.

  45. Tapi mudah-mudahan google cepet dapet saingan deh, biar banyak pilihan 😀

  46. I have read Cuil’s claims and blah blah of others but nothing work. I always get right results from Google and that is the only savior.

  47. Can this new site deliver us all the information we need like Google do? Google has been trusted for many years now, and I think that new site will have to be advertise well to be known too.

  48. I’ve been playing around with Wolfram a lot and it’s neat-o in regards to what it’s doing, but I think it’s going to be a while before it’s mainstream.

  49. Google is the most popular search engine in all over the world I think. It plays a very huge role in our daily life, in my too. I don’t waste a time searching another search engines because Google can offer me everything what I want. Thanks for the interesting post!

  50. Many search engines will claim to be the next google killer, yet none success. Its the same with all the big sites, ebay, paypal, amazon, youtube…theres plenty of wannabe’s for each of them, but none have managed to match their success.

  51. Internet search engines do things we formerly thought as impossible. That is why they get well in the market. Couldn’t imagine that millions of data could be acquired in seconds. Only Internet can do. There is always one impossible thing comes true at a time, lol.. japanese fashion wholesale

  52. Google killer? Yeah, right! Everybody is talking about that each year. First – yahoo, then microsoft with bing – now Wolfram Alpha. Don’t you think that it’s just a PR?

  53. technology has been growing so rapidly since the last decade. It feels like just yesterday when we last deal with the big DOS, lol.. By the way, does anyone have a favorite site for Rent Homes?  I’ve heard about RealtyNation.com but’s that’s the only one I know about.

  54. Is it a really google killer ? I found many SE companies that are claimed to be the google killer are killed by Google finally. Wolfram Alpha, no way !

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  57. >> (3) Scalability : Outgoing : Keeping point 2 above in mind – can you reply to people’s questions within / under 1 second ?

    Unfortunately, nowadays, google isn’t doing too well on this front. I’ve been getting a good bit of \time out\ or \server not found\ messages.

    >> (4) Relevancy : Can you read people’s mind ? Oops, let me rephrase that – can you give relevant answers to the questions ?

    A few years back, technical IT questions returned relevant results. But starting from 2007, google started returning pages of forums where IT professionals were asking for help instead of giving the pages with solutions. Mind you, I knew there was a website with the solution. I had found it using google sometime in 2005/2006. I eventually found the site with the solution again using a brute force search of all relevant websites.

  58. Nice post. Especially for digging out what has happened in 1995 and how web transformed into the current form.
    Now Google is the king. There is nothing compared to G. Also thanks for giving nice info on marketing.

  59. No offense to Wolfram Alpha, but in the league of search engines, Google is way so far ahead of the others, its like being at a different platform or level, and I don’t think that no SE is coming close to beating Google in the coming years, if not ever.
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  62. google is a solid king for now…but we all know…in business, nothing is immortal…

    the great example is: MICROSOFT

  63. It will be very difficult to overtake the big G. Many have tried, all have failed. They are very strong and get stronger all the time with the new things they are always coming out with. It would be cool to see someone do it but I don’t think it will happen for a very long time, if ever.

  64. The post is really very interesting and I am happy to find so many useful information here in the post, I think you must continue with the same pace, as I am inspired by your way of writing. Thanks

  65. unfortunately I don’t think that much of anything is going to cut too far into google’s profit margins. as an Seo outsourcing manager we scale all of our campaigns to google.

  66. It is not easy to make a search engine even to compete google which becomes famous all over the world. We can just see if there is another search engine which can replace google.

  67. interesting article, I really liked your article. I will keep visiting to read your article quality. if you’re willing I hope you can visit my blog. I am very excited to read and read your article. from your loyal fans.Tika

  68. Why would someone want to use a search engine that doesn’t display the way Ask, Google or Yahoo does?

  69. Thanks for taking the time to discuss this, I feel strongly about it and love learning more on this topic. If possible, as you gain expertise, would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

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  70. Amazing article…
    I trust and love Google and thanks for sharing the information.

    and

    keep it UP!

  71. It’s nice to know this information and it is very useful to users all over the world. It is better, if you will share more information about this.

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  76. Nice article, I remeber when I start using Internet and the difficulty to find website, we have use Altavista when it’s started and wow what a great tool. It’s amazing how google growing.

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  78. I absolutely admire the author for attributing their time for this astounding article. Surely many readers can benefit on this topic. Thank you.

  79. People live on Google. It is the best search engine for ever…I think this word is useless. I mean it is really very difficult to KILL google.

  80. Fascinating stuff Harry. Running a travel business I’ve had to learn a whole new craft when it comes to Google and search engines. Traditional marketing rules still apply of course but with a website we can present our niche products – Turkey gulet cruises – to a worldwide audience. Where we stand now in search engines is crucial to the success of the business. I’d never have thought it was such an opportunity or a risk a decade ago.

  81. I never heard of such search engine and I think it will never be the Google Killer. The very first search engine that I knew during my high school days is Yahoo, next is AOL, and then Microsoft and the last is Google.

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  83. I’m very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

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