How Would You Beat Google?


Rich Skrenta recently posted 12 tips to creating a Google killer:

Grow a spine people! You have a giant growing market with just one dominant competitor, not even any real #2. You're going to do clean-tech energy saving software to shut off lightbulbs in high-rises instead? Pfft. Get a stick and try to knock G's crown off.

Rich's tips are largely centered around niche targeting and branding.

I think the easiest way to take them out would be to create some type of game that offered rewards, collected user data, built in social network features, and then bolt a recommendation engine onto it, and slowly morph that into search.

A few other approaches might be...

  • if they lose copyright challenges try to create something similar to the Wikipedia that was blog / news / channel oriented then bake search into a trusted network
  • co-brand your offering with a popular religion and talk about how it is family safe (while painting users of the competing service as socially unacceptable perverts and other outliers)
  • buy out premium publishers and domain names and create a system that allows individuals or small groups to create high quality profitable communities
  • build an ad and search network on the back of free phone communications


Achilles Heel

I'd totally exploit that they are data gathering machine. I'd go after the "we don't store every single scrap of data and connect it to you personally" angle. Google is big on creating FUD with everyone else, it would be nice if somebody was smart/aggressive enough to turn FUD back on them in the form of a privacy bogeyman.

and keep it simple

Remember when we all started using them..simple and clean...with relevant results.

Assuming the two basics are

Assuming the two basics are met [speed & spelling] I'd go with greywolf, try and push a green angle too if possible

Planing ahead

I'd also make sure that however you're going to monetize the thing isn't something Google can give away for free. Making Gmail free with more features made it really difficult for anyone to monetize web based email. And if you don't think that google documents, spreadsheets and notebook aren't a direct attack on microsoft's biggest cash cow then you aren't thinking hard enough about it.


seobook's game/rewards system idea is a very good one. came out of nowhere and got millions of searches overnight with their daily cash giveaways. That silly kevin federline "engine" is trying to do this. It's a solid idea although kfed is way too narrow a brand to try to intersect with searchers who want cash back IMO.

I like those other ideas too, they are really thinking out of the box.

Beating Google is not impossible

Difficult but not impossible. It's a marketing issue, not a technical one.

People keep forgetting that Google would not exist as it does today if Yahoo! didn't use them for 1/2 a decade to promote them..


Even Gates proposed this sometime ago. Its actually easy for anyone to create with adsense for search (offcourse you have get clearance from G first)

But still it all comes to marketing, Blingo (now owned by PCH) is doing this for more than a year and i dont think they are a big hit, (even after promoted with those millions of annoying PCH sweepstake snail mails)

MSN could gut google by

MSN could gut google by eliminating CF. Toss the PPC model in favor of dollar days or some such thing.

"30 bucks for 30 days, pick your phrase!"

voila, no fraud, guaranteed.

Let the marketing trickle down from the marketers.

The new mantra from the collective ad community: "use MSN"

Google lifted off the ground because vocal webmasters exercised their voices, they ranked well in google, they self promoted, i.e: "use google", word spread.

Going after google from a user perspective is near futile but they do have a major achilles heel in their revenue model. So you toss PPC and lose all that money? ahhh, theres still a lot of money there, not as much but plenty of margin in a "dollar day" model.

Y! can't do it, too entrenched, they sold their soul when they tossed the directory into the abyss, shareholders would wet their pants. MSN can do it, they don't even NEED search profitability but owning search, now thats the MS game.

The love you need is from the advertisers.

> came out of

> came out of nowhere and got millions of searches overnight

With respect they came out of nowhere and got millions of dickheads overnight. I don't think you can attack Google by bottom feeding, got to go for the core which imho is trust.


I don't disagree NFFC, and that wouldn't be my approach. The raffle does get some action though, moreso than any of the, say, clustering search engines have managed to draw. For better or worse. ;-)

I think it's less about how

I think it's less about how and more about whom. Determine what's the largest online demographic and build a property that appeals to them. It's doubtful you'd be able to best G at the general search game but you could chip away at segmented users by developing an appealing search and community property. The advertisers and media follow the demopgraphic. Kinda like an algorithmic MySpace concept.

iWon is still around?

Create and give away an ipod for every millionth search query done by a subscribed member. Add a bunch o fine print mumbo jumbo that defines "member" as some one who signs up, validates the acount and actually searches... like a human. Slowly redefine "human" to require more and more interaction to remain a valid "member" while all other searches don't count towards the ipod.

With each free ipod comes tons of publicity.

Why not go with the flow

Google has cleaned up the web by demanding good content. I remember a not too distant past where content was so shit you had to have a sack over your head to wade through it.

I reckon that instead of trying to beat anyone why not RTFM and try and help out.

Perhaps we are going to be destroyed by the fact that the overpowering force in technology right now happens to be a country that holds too much stock in overthrowing it's tyrants to be free (Washington is not too far distant), yet chooses any present force to be a tyrant simply because it is a force. I can see why Microsoft became a menace because they strangled many areas of software development etc etc, but I can't see Google doing the same, not with their present strategy of openness.

But if I were to try and 'overthrow' them it would be with the only thing that can usurp them.

A way of harnessing peoples desire for cake, to have search linked to cake and have the resulting cake delivered, as recompense, for free.

You heard it here first. Now make sense and have it indexed ;0)

Google cleaned up the Web?

Sure they have, did you check Matt Cutts blog tonight?

present strategy of

present strategy of openness

I am wondering if I could smoke some of what that person is smoking.


"Get a stick and try to knock G's crown off"
Imagine some catastrophe hits Google.
Natural - Terrorism - Hackers - Employee - Whatever.
They had to shut down for a while.
Everyone switched over.
Would they recover?
Does that make them vulnerable?

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