Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Can Yahoo Beat Google At Search?

There are a few truths, death and taxes are the big two, but another is that no one ever stays at the top of the mountain for ever.  In business, companies that are market leaders only need to make one wrong turn and their dominance is lost.  And those shifts can be self made or caused by external forces like environment, technology, or even societal changes.  So to say that Google, the leader in search can never be beaten, is simply not true.  The question to ask is Yahoo the company that can knock them off the top of the "search" mountain.

Today's Business Insider reports that Yahoo is working on a secret new product, code named Index, that will be used as a smartphone app and deliver a better mobile search experience.    Whether it will work or not remains to be seen.  At the same time, Google continues to dominate in the search world although mobile has opened up other search competitors.  Just recently, I did searches using Yelp to search for nearby businesses as well as restaurants.  It provided me both with choices based on my zip code or area on the map that I chose and it ranked them based on recommendations.  I found this search a more preferred experience than Google to help narrow down my choices and ultimately decide where to purchase and where to eat.  To me, companies like Yelp are already threatening Google's search dominance.

Whether Marissa Meyer, CEO of Yahoo, has the right idea and can translate it into an app that makes a better search experience remains to be seen.  I applaud the fact that Yahoo is trying to build a better mousetrap to overtake Google in the search game.  Given the rate of change in the mobile space, I am sure that there is an opportunity to succeed. 

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