Like anyone serious about business, I spend time trying to figure out how Google’s search algorythm works. Because if you are serious about business you care about communication. And if you care about communication you have to care about the way most of the world now discovers information.
Yesterday I was surprised to notice that my main computer produced absolutely no Greek website results for “champions league” or “Europa league”. Not even on the twentieth results page! Both of my reference machines (different setups, not logged in to a Google account, not using Google Chrome) had their first page full of Greek results. Obviously Google has been tracking the fact that I am not interested in football. But no matter how hard I search, there is nowhere in my Google customization, preferences or other location where I can untick a box to change this.
At the same time I have been admiring Google+ . You are much more in control of the experience than Facebook. It is much, much less prone to scams, false profiles and spam of all sorts. For anyone who has lived in the uncertain world of trying to do Facebook marketing over the past years it is a breath of fresh air.
And that is exactly how Bing, Yahoo or any other search engine can overtake Google. Bear open your secret sauce. Show us the workings of your algorythms and let us tweak them. Let me, the search users, decide what I want to attach weight to. We could even swap tweaks, like my “don’t care about football but like outdoor stuff and sport in general” attitude. It would be something you nurture through time, like a farm on Farmville; your searches and clicks create your own unique version of the search algorythm, your own “magic soup”. Many users would love it. At least those who care about what they see, the discerning users who are probably more interesting for advertisers too in the long term.
You can’t beat Google any other way, and we all know how hard you tried…