RSS is Competing with Search Engines

Everyone that does search on the various search engines knows that it requires sifting through a big number of material to arrive at those that have relevance to the search conducted. Here is the paradox: it is a known fact that getting to the top heap of the search engine result takes a lot, which means, a web site will have to meet all the requirements search engines have put in place. But seen from what are in the top search results, most of the time, there is no guarantee of getting what is searched without going through a big number of unnecessary material, for the most part, where most of them could be outdated. But there are always exceptions and it depends on what one is looking for.

RSS is totally different, because all that is required is to inform an aggregator what exactly to look for, and where to look for it, or even a simple blanket instruction made up of keywords is enough. The material, without doing anything else will arrive on a daily basis to the applicant’s feed, and all that is required to do is check the feeds according to a given schedule. By simply doing that searchers save a lot of valuable time and aggravation, because no matter how people are appreciative of what the search engines are doing, they have certain anomalies that should be surpassed, and this is one of them; namely getting exactly what is being searched in a given amount of time.

Nevertheless, it depends on what people are doing with the search engines. If someone is buying a product, he or she is better off to put what he or she is looking for in the search engine box, because buying a product is clear-cut. As well, since there are a given number of sellers carrying the same product, encountering a good number of these vendors on the first page is possible. It all depends on the terms used, like using the term “buy” or “on sale” or “for sale” could bring the best suited vendors, yet there is no absolute guarantee.

At the same time, since these kinds of vendors are paying advertisers, where their text ad will show up, in most cases, is at the right side of the search engine results in a form of text ads, but presumably they will not be in the main search results. Yet, that also cannot be ruled out because the Web site they are selling from might pop up without clicking the paid text ad that is linked to it, simply because of meeting the SEO requirements, but the better chance for it to appear is among those that are paying advertisers.

The good news for search engines, however, is there is a silver lining between those who are vendors and those who are availing other informative material that is not selling a service or a product outright. Even among those who are paying advertisers there are a good number of them, in fact, almost it is made up of 50/50; those who are selling and those who are promoting their brand are the main sources of their income. But they had started out extending their service from the outset for those who are availing material for other purposes, other than commercial, that being the primary reason why search engines came into existence, which have to do with direct marketing, PR and their news release, news, articles, audio, video, etc.

RSS could also be used to track down new product releases, or what a given company is doing exactly, and in addition to what is taking place the other powerful medium that has started cutting into the sphere of search engines, which obviously is blogging could be used too. Almost all businesses will have their own blogs soon where they will avail news about what they are doing. Those blogs could be aggregated like any other source of information, and they could play a crucial role in saving people time. There is nothing better than going over a similar territory that is setup to serve a given purpose rather than waddling through a horde of material, searching for the particular documents that might not contain what is looked for.

Not only that, when comparing posting a material on a blog, which is instant, to posting a material on a Web site to be indexed by search engines, which could definitely end up being stale there is an obvious lag, because it takes a while for the search engines to display recently posted material even on an already indexed sites. Certainly, the robots could make daily visits, yet their visits could be limited, and only those who are able to upload a search map on regular basis, for example in the case of Google get a frequent visit. Otherwise they have their once or twice a month schedule. However, the aggregators will instantly pick any change that takes place on a blog, and if there had not been the integration of RSS and blog, it will take ages for that information to reach the prospects. To reduce the time lag marketers will have to spend a fortune, because paid advertisement is faster than organic search result.

Even if that is the vagary of how things stand currently, ways to fight back this onslaught, which could make search engines less useful eventually were attempted. What they attempted to do was to do the search based on a personal data of searchers past experience that will be reserved as a cookie, and not many people were happy about being tracked and profiled, which forced them to come up with a better method.

Claria introduced what they came up with called “Personal Web”. Users download a software that profiles the sites they visited and the information they were searching for whenever they do search. Then, confining the search results, as much as possible, to what their intersts are is doable, and at times making suggestions is possible, a promising inroads for those who are willing to use the software.

Based on that, both major search engines, Yahoo and Google have come up with similar programs as recently as November and December. What Yahoo came up with, which is still in its Beta “Yahoo’s MyWeb” allows searchers to create their own personal searchable Web site where they can save the Web pages they encounter, and whenever they make search their past experience will be taken into consideration to arrive exactly at what they are looking for.

Google also has introduced its “Personalized Search”, which is still in Beta, and the program will execute search queries according to past experience that they would keep in their record. MSN is also scheduled to come up with a similar program in 2006, which will be known as “Windows Live Search” that is promising a personal search experience based on whatever formula they will use, which will not be far from past experience or declared area of interest. Signing for anyone of these programs will allow the search engines to track what the searchers are doing while they are on the Internet and even if it is not going to be accurate, it is possible to do comparison so that eliminating material that are out of whack with the searchers experience could be made possible.

What this means is “search”, which is expected to replace email, the highest activity people are engaged in on the Internet, that could number around 60 million a day, will have to be fragmented among a good number of aggregators feeds that will bring information without searchers doing anything or without coming near search engines. The coming into the picture of blogs in big number is going to make their service highly sought after, eroding the huge number of searchers that are flocking to the search engines.

From what could be inferred it will be a matter of time before someone comes up with an effective method to harness this activity for a commercial purpose and the next success story might originate from what had come into existence because of the coming into the picture of RSS and blogging. For now, both Google and Yahoo allow those who are advertising with the AdWord and YPN services to use RSS feed for advertising. The various aggregators are doing the same too.

In the long run, the powerful search engines, even if they will not let go without a fight, could finish as ghost towns clinging to those who are advertising to sell products and services or to those who are promoting their brand. The number of this group is very small compared to the public they want to sell for and are very much dependent on visitors, whether they are dedicated buyers or they are there to do other things that could be converted into prospects.

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