Anarchy in search engine land: Google minus Google

Anarchy in search engine land: Google minus Google

Our Finnish Webtipr is a search engine anarchist. He denies submission to Google. Sure, he uses it a lot, and probably couldn’t live without it, but he’s critical. Timo Paloheimo basically has three problems with the search giant. He was so kind to mail them to me:

  • Google has 70% market share in the US, worldwide even more. (in Finland their market share is said to be 95%).
  • Google has no transparency, they do not reveal how their search engine ranks content. There are numerous opinions that Google does indeed favor their own content.
  • Google’s reason for existence is to make money, which is done by delivering the best possible results for them, not the best for the user. A monopoly can do that.

You’ve probably heard these complaints before, maybe you discuss them with friends once in a while. But for Timo, it didn’t end with just complaining. He has used Google Custom Search to create a version of Google that doesn’t search within Google-owned services. So no Knol, YouTube, or Blogger. Google Minus Google offers you trustworthy results.

Media company or search engine?

Paloheimo found inspiration for his project in a New York Times article titled “Is Google a Media Company?“. The article raised questions like whether Google would give Knol pages a higher ranking than, say, a Mahalo or About.com page.

Paloheimo doubts whether Google offers the best pages, as it’s the party that offers the results, but also makes money from them. As an example, he mailed me two screenshots of a search for “analytics”. The Google search shows links to the Google Analytics tool and the blog, Google Minus Google offers links to Wikipedia pages and companies who specialize in analytics.

The best results

“Don’t get me wrong”, says Paloheimo – who hopes Google consider his idea to be a parody -, “I’ve been a Google fan for years and I use it every day perhaps a few hundred times. I love the search engine, it has delivered the best results. I want it to stay that way.”

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