Many years ago, Ask Jeeves was a popular search engine that allowed users to enter natural-language queries and receive answers from a “valet.” However, once Google Search entered the scene, Ask Jeeves quickly became obsolete due to Google’s superior ability to crawl the web and its use of Boolean search operators. Now, Google has added an AI chatbot-like search response to its results, which has caused a degradation of the search experience and a rise of SEO-bait garbage that surfaces first.
A Vulnerable Google
The addition of AI to Google Search has slowed down its responses and made it less accurate for power users. Meanwhile, the increasing volume of large language model glurge and new SEO tactics have made it harder to find relevant results. This vulnerability has led some to suggest that a startup could beat Google by creating a search engine that looks and feels like old Google Search but returns better results. This could possibly be achieved by choosing different dimensions to index on or by using AI to filter out garbage results. Another possibility is to resurrect the human-indexed directory model, like the Yahoo! Directory, which was crushed by Google Search’s supremacy and closed in 2014. Users may also want a human involved in the process of search to ensure a human result rather than a machine-generated SEO bait.
In conclusion, Google Search’s recent changes have made it vulnerable to competition from startups that can offer better search experiences for power users. Whether it’s through resurrecting old search models or using AI to filter out garbage results, there is an opportunity for new players to disrupt the search engine market. The question is, who will take advantage of this moment?