Google increasingly battles Facebook in search

May 25, 2009 By JAY ALABASTER , Associated Press Writer
Google logo

(AP) -- Google has identified social networking sites like Facebook as growing competitors in search, a company spokesman said Monday.

Internet users are increasingly looking for answers to their search questions, not just a list of sites in response to a query.

They also expect something personal from the Internet - and they're increasingly turning to it to answer more personal questions, which daycare to choose and what restaurant to go to, said Group Product Manager Ken Tokusei.

have a big advantage in this shift because information gleaned from them comes from friends, acquaintances, or at least an individual, and Tokusei said users tend to trust that information more.

"We haven't gotten to the point where results are seen as if they come from someone you know," said Tokusei.

The search giant has begun to offer tools for users to rate results and delete unrelated links, but it still has work to do, he said.

Google is also trying to better home in on the information requested in a search. Sites such as WolframAlpha, launched earlier this month, comb the Internet for data, analyze it and then provide specific answers to queries, rather than a list of sites.

Google can do something similar for some searches, providing price quotes for "Sony stock" or an answer to "Tunisia capital." But these are followed by the familiar list of sites on which to dig further.

"It's a matter of determining what kind of information the user is looking for. But we will always serve some links to pages with our results," said Tokusei.

He spoke to reporters at Google's Japanese headquarters in Tokyo, where he gave an overview of the company's basic search tools.

Google has developed a host of expanding tools and services, from a mobile to an online word processor, but it devotes 70 percent of its employees and resources to search.

The company also still faces fresh competition from its traditional rivals, which are regrouping in an attempt to take back market share.

Microsoft has failed to make much headway in repeated Internet ventures. But the deep-pocketed company, which has poured hundreds of millions of dollars into improving its search engine, continues to develop a new search technology, part of which is called "Kumo" internally.

Yahoo, which has seen much of its market share plummet in the face of Google's dominance, is tweaking its search results, cutting out some links altogether and adding more emphasis on images and video.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has said he is still interested in buying part of Yahoo, after a proposed deal was turned down last year.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: IBM dips into Twitter stream for business insights

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google glitch disrupts search engine, e-mail

May 14, 2009

(AP) -- Millions of people were cut off from Google Inc.'s search engine, e-mail and other online services Thursday, sparking a flurry of frustrated venting that served as a reminder of society's growing ...

Google draws upon rival ideas with search changes

Mar 24, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc. prides itself on setting trends, but it appears to be copying some of its smaller rivals with the latest refinements to the way it displays Internet search results.

Yahoo searching for ways to show fewer Web links

May 20, 2009

(AP) -- Yahoo Inc. is pruning Web links from its Internet search results as it strives to provide more immediate gratification and lure traffic away from the market leader, Google Inc.

Google digging deeper to improve search results (Update)

May 13, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc. is about to add more features to its already dominant Internet search engine - and some of the changes could give Web surfers less reason to click through to other sites. That scenario ...

Recommended for you

HTML5 reaches 'Recommendation' status

18 hours ago

W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium, and the W3C HTML Working Group is responsible for this specification's progress. As the title suggests, they have a far-reaching job of watching out for the progress ...

Online dating service admits to fake profiles

21 hours ago

A British-based online dating service admitted to US regulators Wednesday that it created fake, computer-generated profiles to lure users into upgraded memberships.

NY voters to decide on digital legislation

Oct 28, 2014

If New York voters approve proposition No. 2 on the ballot next week, their 213 legislators will join the digital age. Their desks in the ornate chambers of the Capitol will have computers instead of thick stacks of bills ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

earls
not rated yet May 25, 2009
Yahoo! Answers is also fantastic. While I usually end up there via Google search, I can see myself migrating to Y!A to begin my search in the future.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.