The Google ecosystem is failing more – failing to get us what we think we want. Failing to not frustrate us. [...] Now, Google’s ecosystem is ripe for a quick buck – “content farms” that build article pages cheaply to make a quick buck off AdWords. But these articles, at least for a portion of us, don’t really provide the answers we are looking for.
Is it possible that the action itself of Googl-ing content won’t even exist in a few years from now? After all the more content gets produced every year the harder will be the job of finding the right one. Our frustration with not getting the results we want might turn us to seek content in different places, such as authorities on the subject of our interest. Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb also thinks Google should be worried:
Right now ‘quantity’ still rules on the Web, ‘quality’ is hard to find. Perhaps that’s why Reuters is betting on the subscription model – it hopes that consumers will just subscribe to quality content, thereby removing the need to search for it. I think there’s something to that, which if true implies that Google will become less relevant in the future.
Trend #2: Web curation will be of the biggest trends (and challenges) of 2010, according to Pete Cashmore of Mashable. As he writes at his column for CNN:
Who better to direct our scarce attention than experts in their fields? [...] Journalists, it would seem, are well-placed to capitalize on the trend, since directing an audience’s attention via links is not materially different to editing a newspaper or magazine.
And soon enough consumers will be willing to pay for it. This is something many media outlets are betting on these days, including the WSJ and Rupert Murdoch who declared earlier this year that the era of a free-for-all in online news was over:
Quality journalism is not cheap. The digital revolution has opened many new and inexpensive distribution channels but it has not made content free. We intend to charge for all our news websites.
Now let’s sum up these two trends and apply it to the fashion world. Instead of mourning on the rapid decrease of the glossy pages, fashion editors should be focusing on a new medium – curated web. They have the AUTHORITY and EXPERTISE to point to the right sources and answer the questions, and it seems like soon enough people will be willing to pay for this service.
Will this new service look like a search engine or like a content portal? Perhaps a combination of both would make most sense. All I know is many people out there are looking for style and fashion shopping advice, and right now they turn to Google for it. More than 4,500 of them searched for the right way “how to wear over the knee boots” this fall, and landed on http://MyItThings.com, not http://Style.com. Many more searched for “2010 fashion trends” and didn’t even find any of the fashion magazines on the first page of Google. Instead, they got advice from smaller independent sources. Of course there is nothing wrong with this (and it’s great for our pockets), besides the fact that on Google a site I founded 3 years ago is getting more authority on fashion questions than a print publication founded in 1920. In case of MyItThings.com we managed to provide the advice people were looking for, because we care about our content quality and researched the subject for the best advice possible.
But how about people who searched for “Louis Vuitton handbag”? 8 out of 10 results listed on the main page of Google are leading to fakes and replica sites, engaging in illegal activity online. Not educated well user may really think $388 Louis Luitton bags exist…
Internet democracy or wrong order? It depends on which side of the game you are. But what I’m trying to say is that traditional media can still reclaim its relevancy online. One advantage they have on blogs, social media and content aggregators all combined – they got AUTHORITY that is attached to their brand names. Sure, it’s a different type of authority than the one Google uses to rank sites, but the media outlets could be using this authority to curate the most relevant content and perhaps eventually replace Google, at least in their own niche. When most sophisticated algorithms fail to filter through the masses of content, editors with their ability to curate are more important than ever.
After all who would you rather ask for fashion advice: Google or Anna Wintour?
As always, would love your thoughts in the comments section below, or on Twitter @yuliz