You could say that the search engine wars are over. Google has won, everybody knows it, except maybe Microsoft.
At the same time, search (as in indexing and retrieval of web accessible docs) tends to be commoditized. It was only some days ago, that intrigued by tapir, I wrote
”[…] I have the feeling that a simple search engines like Tapir, will be more and more in demand and I would expect more to show up. […] The basic building blocks, like elasticsearch (and soon full-text search on AppEngine) are out there.”
Yesterday, Amazon launched Amazon CloudSearch -“start Searching in One Hour for Less Than $100/Month”.
The $100/month price tag looks way too expensive for my needs. I may be missing the whole value proposition by Amazon, but I expect it to come down.
But the trend is here: “personal” search as a service for everyone.
Of course, a “personal” search service, has little to do with the search engine wars. Me using such a service will have little or no impact to a search engine like Google.
But there may be an opportunity for something new, an alternative to the web search problem.
What if, each one of these search instances, mine indexing my blog posts and my tweets, yours indexing your corporate website, could become “friends”? What if we had a social network of search instances, where one instance could ask its “friends” for information? It is “social search”, just not in the way facebook or google are probably thinking about it.
I described something like this in a 2004 “paper”, and even though a lot has changed since then, even though it looks a bit naive 8 years later, I think that the core ideas are more current than ever.
Back to the post title. “New search engine wars”? Well, if they are going to be some, they won’t be between big centralized search engines. They will be between the old model (like Google and Bing) and something new. I would predict that this “something new” is close to making its baby steps and services or software like Tapir, CloudSearch and elasticsearch are signs this may not be far.