You’ve heard if the expression "If it’s not broken, don’t fix it," right?
Apparently the search engines haven’t.
The "ten blue links" that have served the search engines well for over a decade could be going the way of the dodo and I can’t help wonder just how much of this is driven by the desire for innovation rather than the actual need for it.
Last time I searched, I was pretty happy with the simplicity of the search results page. It was familiar, it was accurate, and aside from perhaps needing a few minor tweaks, did exactly what I needed it to do. Well, it appears the search engines are in a hurry to see who can break search the most and then piece it back together as something completely different.
Wolfram Alpha may be the ringleader, but reports this week show just how desperate Yahoo and Microsoft are to re-invent the wheel search engine.
Wolfram Alpha is a "computational knowledge engine," Yahoo wants to "move from a Web of pages to a Web of objects" and Microsoft is pinning its hopes on Kumo, Bing, Beg, Plead, or whatever their nom de jour is these days. Even Google has said that it has a lot of work left to do in search.
The next 6 months will see more innovation in search than we’ve seen in the past 6 years, but while the battle cry might be for "The End of the 10 Blue Links," I can’t help but wonder if we’ve lost sight of what helped Google grab a 70%+ market share in the first place–ten simple links, on a clean white page.
What do you think about search today? Does it need fixing or not?