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Should Apple Create a Web Search Engine to Compete with Google?


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View Poll Results: Should Apple Develop a Search Engine to Compete with Google?
Yes 3 20.00%
No 12 80.00%
Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

Should Apple Create a Web Search Engine to Compete with Google?
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Chinney
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2011-11-18, 08:17

The level of bitterness that SJ felt about Android over the last couple of years (Steve Jobs Vowed to Destroy Android) got me thinking. I assume that various patent fights between Apple and Google (and others) over mobile technology will continue over the next few years. Apple may or may not prevail in those; it is fighting defensively as much as offensively.

In the meantime, though, why not fight back in another way by hitting Google where it hurts? I know that others, notably Microsoft, have tried and largely failed and I know that Jobs also publicly indicated that developing a rival search engine was not something he was interested in doing. Nevertheless, I actually don't care all that much for Google and can contemplate better ways a search engine could work. Who better than Apple than to make it 'Work Different' and work better? Also, Apple could use its high profile position in the tech industry right now to generate the buzz that might make it work from a promotional perspective.

I think that Apple should go for it. Any thoughts? Bonus points if you can come up with a good name suggestion for the search engine.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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drewprops
Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2011-11-18, 08:37

How about Siri?


...
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Dave
Ninja Editor
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Bay Area, CA
 
2011-11-18, 15:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chinney View Post
In the meantime, though, why not fight back in another way by hitting Google where it hurts? I know that others, notably Microsoft, have tried and largely failed and I know that Jobs also publicly indicated that developing a rival search engine was not something he was interested in doing. Nevertheless, I actually don't care all that much for Google and can contemplate better ways a search engine could work. Who better than Apple than to make it 'Work Different' and work better?
[...]
I think that Apple should go for it. Any thoughts?
The only feature I wish Google had is specifying a topic. For instance, I've been thinking about building a set of speakers, just for the fun of it. All else being equal (and that part is important), and coaxial speaker -- with the tweeter mounted in the middle of the woofer -- will sound better than a component speaker. That got me wondering if anybody made a 3-way coaxial speaker, and it turns out that there are tons of them... for car audio (and despite the manufacturers' claims, they're not coaxial either). Other than tacking on "-car -auto -automobile -vehicle -mobile -<car audio company names>" to the end of my searches, there's no way to tell Google that I'm not interested in car audio. But by the time you've added enough "-<whatever>" tags to get rid of the results you don't want, you've painted such a broad "no-go" brush that you get rid of the stuff you do want as well. If Google understood the concept "only search in pro or high-end audio", my life would've been much simpler.

(In retrospect, this might not have been the best example... It turns out that nobody makes 3-way coaxial speakers, so there wouldn't have been any results anyway, but I'm about to be late for work and I think this still gets my point across.)

When I was a kid, people who did wrong were punished, restricted, and forbidden. Now, when someone does wrong, all of the rest of us are punished, restricted, and forbidden... and the one who did the wrong is counselled and "understood" and fed ice cream.
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nikstar101
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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2011-11-18, 15:17

Well if i was being cheeky and was suggesting that Google is copying Apple, then you could say that Apple should not worry about patents and copy Google Page Index formula and ta-da search engine produced!

Being more sensible, as drew said i think Siri is Apple's search engine. Once again they have looked at the problem from a different angle and seen that why search for a number of pages about the question or topic you requested when you can go simply to the answer. So using Wolfram Alpha and Yelp (??) to provide answers is completely skipping the need for Google. Yes there are many other things Google is useful for, but i think that, like Apps people will adapt there usage and way they access information to get more out of Siri.
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Wrao
Yarp
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Road Warrior
 
2011-11-18, 16:28

I kind of feel like the traditional search engine is actually going to fade from prominence in time. Already I notice that I use them a lot less than I used to and when I do the results are a lot less useful than they could/should be. When it comes to raw information, sites like Wolfram Alpha, Wikipedia or IMDB or even Amazon regularly contain what you might have otherwise used a search engine to find. When it comes to random questions, most searches these days end up taking you to crowd-sourced Q&A sites that have tenuous reliability. Or they show you forum results which, again, can be unreliable but are also dead ends(e.g. when you find a forum post of the exact question you had, from 4 years ago, with no answers).

On top of that, I'm more want to simply ask things to people through Facebook or twitter even than bother with searching sometimes.

So maybe that is just me, but I think the search engine as this 'default' sort of gateway to the internet is waning. I mean, you already look at something like Siri, and granted it uses search engines in its backend processing, but it also uses Wolfram Alpha and Yelp and ostensibly it can and will use other platforms as well. When you have a program that you can ask questions to that will determine the best place to find the answer and present it to you, then what is the point of having a dedicated search engine anyway?
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Chinney
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2011-11-18, 19:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
The only feature I wish Google had is specifying a topic. For instance, I've been thinking about building a set of speakers, just for the fun of it. All else being equal (and that part is important), and coaxial speaker -- with the tweeter mounted in the middle of the woofer -- will sound better than a component speaker. That got me wondering if anybody made a 3-way coaxial speaker, and it turns out that there are tons of them... for car audio (and despite the manufacturers' claims, they're not coaxial either). Other than tacking on "-car -auto -automobile -vehicle -mobile -<car audio company names>" to the end of my searches, there's no way to tell Google that I'm not interested in car audio. But by the time you've added enough "-<whatever>" tags to get rid of the results you don't want, you've painted such a broad "no-go" brush that you get rid of the stuff you do want as well. If Google understood the concept "only search in pro or high-end audio", my life would've been much simpler.

(In retrospect, this might not have been the best example... It turns out that nobody makes 3-way coaxial speakers, so there wouldn't have been any results anyway, but I'm about to be late for work and I think this still gets my point across.)
Certainly a better tailored search capability, by category or topic, is among what I would have in mind. Key words are not enough. Also, I have the feeling that Google has become too dominated by the money element driving top hits. If Apple eliminated the money factor, it could make something better.

What I have in mind probably would be a money loser for Apple, but so is for Google, presumably, a mobile OS for which they charge nothing, ripping off and undermining Apple (from Apple's perspective at least). Part of my suggestion is wanting something new and better for a search engine. Part of this is just thinking of this from a purely competitive perspective, if I were Apple management. I had the feeling that when SJ made that comment about not wanting to develop a search engine, he was saying (with Google's Schmidt still on the Apple Board) 'I'm not going to step on their toes, if they are not stepping on mine'. Google subsequently stepped all over Apple's toes. Maybe Apple should do the same to Google.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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