Washing Detergents seem to be sold more by what appears on the outside of the box, than by the attributes of what is in the box. It’s tough to do a real test of one powder versus another. Equally it’s becoming tough to know what is inside the Search Engine ‘box’.
Microsoft now seems to be confirming that it’s what’s on the box that counts. As noted, “The computer and software giant recently revealed that it was putting personalisation at the heart of its search strategy over the next few years.”
Google used to tout its relevancy with its famous PageRank concept as one of its major strengths. However it was the clean, simple search engine page that may well have been the key selling feature. Indeed the PageRank concept may have had within it the seeds of its own decay. When everyone knows that back-links are important to get noticed by Google, then everyone starts working on getting as many back-links as possible. As Yahoo! now gets into full swing, serious questions are being raised on whether Yahoo! is producing more relevant search results than Google. In other words, does ‘content’ beat out ‘back-links’ for relevancy.
The secrecy surrounding the search engines algorithms means that it’s tough to know what is the logic being used. So which logic is more likely to give more relevant search results? Relevancy has become that mysterious powder in the box. Relevancy must be adequate but the consumer has a great deal of difficulty in detecting that one is better than another. It’s going to be the packaging that actually sells the product.