It recently dawned on me that I do far more searches away from Google (GOOG) than I do on Google. I’m not talking about a factor of 2 to 1 or 3 to 1. My off Google searches out number Google searches by at least 10 to 1 on a daily or weekly basis.
How can that be?
It’s because Google is late on everything. The latency on Google information relative to searches on Twitter (TWTR) (or hosts to the Twitter Firehose), Instagram, Tumbler, Pinterest, Facebook (FB) (although declining because they changed the search of public pages to hash tags), is long and important. Just a few short pre twitter, pre app years ago we could depend on the fact that if the information was important to even a small segment of the population someone would put it on a website and it would be indexed by Google and made available quickly if not in near real-time. That is no longer the case.
When was the last time any of us updated a real website with current information? We say what we want to say on our social networks or on twitter. I know the amount of posts I make on this blog has dropped considerably because its far easier to present my thoughts elsewhere. If Google isn’t indexing what is said on twitter/facebook/pinterest/tumbler/instagram/SnapChat /all the topic&affinity apps (your favorite team/band/etc) and elsewhere, aren’t they missing most of the information that is being communicated in the world?
If I want to know if anything note worthy happened in an NBA game, the last place i would search is Google. I would search twitter first. If i want to know if anything interesting happened at an event, the last place I would search is Google. I would search Instagram. The list goes on.
Thats not to say I don’t use Google. I use Google to keep up with with my interest in what is happening with the Securities and Exchange Commission and their efforts. If I want information about a company and their products, I will use Google. If i want to look up product information, I will use Google and the other sources as well to get the most relevant information. Google is still an important part of our lives.
I’m not saying that Google is going anywhere soon. It is and will be dominant for at least the next few years. What I am saying is that I place a significant value on recency for many of my business and personal related searches. Google does a very poor job of indexing and presenting real-time , near-time or even recent information. Which in turn begs the question of whether this lack of recency will impact our ability to trust Google or other search engine results? Or will we just learn where to use Google and where not to use it?