The Future of Search & Web 3.0: A Bumpy Road Ahead

[About the Author: Rahul Yadav, is the co-founder & CEO, Housing.com, a Mumbai based property listing service banking on data to fix the broken classifieds market.]

Google Search, the New IE?

Remember those days when developers were forced to make compatible website for Internet Explorer due to its sheer market share. It was Internet Explorer’s incompetency and eventually it fell.

Lately, the web has been moving towards complex apps from simple content pages, it is becoming difficult for Google to crawl data and understand their structure. Because of the sheer market share of Google Search, developers are forced to make “Google Compatible” content pages. The situation is no more different than IE.Search Shutterstock

The problem with current Google search

Google survived 15 years on blue links but the gap between consumers expectations and Google’s delivery has been widening. Consumers need answers and direct results and not blue links. And to deliver that, Google needs “Structured Data”.

Yes, Google is trying to get structured data with the help of initiatives like schema.org and through data partnerships. But its doing it at snail’s pace.

This slow pace has given opportunity to players having structured data to serve consumers in a much better way and grow really fast. They can be called vertical search engines.

The concept of having vertical search engines took time to be accepted by the market. But now its becoming a reality. The successes of Yelp and Zillow in their categories have proven that.

And as other categories’ vertical search engines acquire more & more structured data, Google can become irrelevant in those categories as well.

Another bigger threat to Google search

A bigger chunk of web is moving towards Apps and currently apps are having proprietary ecosystems (iOS, Android, WindowsPhone). Other than Android, Google won’t have access to crawl inside other ecosystems’ Apps.

Owning a piece of apps ecosystem (Android) is not enough to create a comprehensive Search. A search engine needs to have access to everything.

Web 3.0 and bumpy road ahead

Technology is mortal but Data is immortal. Hot technology/platforms keep changing with time. Once the Desktop Operating System was a hot platform, then the Web became hot, then some of the apps (Maps, Facebook etc.) became hot and now, the Mobile is a hot platform.

Who knows, in the future, wearable gadgets (iWatch, Google glasses etc.) will become the hot platform. But one thing will always be relevant in all the scenarios, the Data.

So, in Web 3.0, the platform is going to be The Data. And applications will be built (across all platforms) using this data, be it mobile/tab or wearable gadgets.

And the problem with Google search is, it does not own the data!

And if Google’s pace in initiatives (like schema.org) to get structured data remains slow. Or others’ proprietary app ecosystem becomes significant, the Search Goliath won’t meet consumer expectations. And will lose to multiple vertical app Davids.

What are your thoughts?

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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