Sole Searching

Lycos. AltaVista. Excite. HotBot. AskJeeves. There were plenty of players vying for the crown when our internet experience migrated from directories to search. Then came Google, the monster that overtook the web. It’s been a hell of a run and Google is probably bigger and more deeply embedded into our culture than anyone imagined it would be. But, when it comes to search, is Google still the best way to experience the internet? And while we’re on the topic, is search the best way to find? Ryan Broderick in The Verge: “For two decades, Google Search was the largely invisible force that determined the ebb and flow of online content. Now, for the first time since Google’s launch, a world without it at the center actually seems possible. We’re clearly at the end of one era and at the threshold of another. But to understand where we’re headed, we have to look back at how it all started.” The end of the Googleverse. While we focus a lot on new consumer technologies like ChatGPT, Google has been changing what search means for years. What started as a tool to send you off to the correct destination on the web is now a machine designed to keep users on Google and learn more and more about them until you realize the thing being searched is you.

+ While we’re feeling a little nostalgia for the early web, has anyone noticed that Yahoo is still around … and growing? “Yahoo’s traffic ranks fifth across desktop and mobile last month, according to Comscore, trailing only Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon.” How Yahoo sparked a renaissance under new owners.

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