MC Hammer announced his new search engine WireDoo today at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco. There is so much to say about this… I really don’t even know how to organize my thoughts.
First, a shameless 90’s throwback:
Okay… so… is MC Hammer’s search engine idea really that bad? First off, I am a fan of competition and Google’s (roughly) 75% market share has always bothered me. Sure… Yahoo and Bing have the opportunity to out-tech and acquire more users, but Google is such a simple, gratifying experience how can the other 25% compete? First we should quickly talk about how search engines actually make money… it sounds like an easy question, but not many people know the answer. When a search is done, search engines can deliver ads on the top and margin of results that are relevant to the search. Advertisers don’t pay when their ad is seen, but only pay for each click that goes to their website through a fairly elaborate bidding system. Rates range from $0.05 to over $50.00 for each click depending on the search volume and competition. The psychology behind the value of the type of advertising is fascinating, but beyond the scope of this lil ole blog. In 2010 Google’s revenue grew over 24% over 2009 to $29.3B… and there’s no plateau in sight. I believe that this market is a prime target for upstarts with something to offer… but can a former rap star create a credible rival to Google, Yahoo or Bing?
For the sake of this conversation I have to actually pause calling him MC Hammer and I’ll now switch to his real name Stanley Burrell… It’s hard to picture “MC Hammer” as a genius Internet mogul and I can’t take it seriously. We now have to address why a user would want to use Burrell’s WireDoo… there would have to be some sort of value proposition. Burrell is positioning his WireDoo to deliver “relational” results. So as a possibility you could search “Houses” and WireDoo might deliver results for websites with content regarding mortgage rates, mobile homes, home loans etc. Unfortunately I find it hard to believe that users would regularly use a search engine to find stuff they were “sorta” looking for, but not what you wanted. Google is the popular choice for many reasons, but mostly because the uncanny accuracy of it’s relevancy algorithm (this is the reason their stock price is $580 a share versus Yahoo’s $16 share price). Google can even finish your thoughts in the search bar using it’s predictive search based on the volume & frequency of search phrases done by other users.
So is this just capitalism getting ready to self regulate the Google machine? Could the future of search engines be private branding and Hammer, (switching back now), is truly way ahead of his time? Will Snooki have her own search engine some day that delivers results relating to tanning, alcohol and foul language? Please Hammer don’t hurt us (sorry, I promised myself I’d use at least 1 of his works as a cheap joke… I played my hand).
In the end I commend Hammer… it takes some stones to throw your hat into a $50,000,000,000 ring. Many failed inventions lead to incredible technologies. Maybe the “Hammerithm” will bewilder technology buffs in the coming years. Quite frankly, it’s also kind of nice to talk about search engines in a way other than the de facto standard that Google has set.
Add blog to our blog directory.