Search vs TV

Search Engine Guide posted an article about how Ask may emerge as a significant search player, just like FOX did in the TV market:

The FOX Network does pretty well for themselves, despite sitting on the outside as the number four network player. That’s the line of thinking that the folks behind Ask.com are using when it comes to their long term plan for growth.

I’ve heard this comparison quite a few times recently. But aren’t search and broadcast TV fundamentally different?

When watching TV, especially since getting a DVR, I am picking interesting shows, not networks. I’m not even sure I can match the right network to each show I see on a regular basis. So in TV it’s the shows (or – content) that matter, not the channel.

With search however, the specific content hardly matters anymore – the 4 major search engines provide similar results and similar features. Heck – they all crawl and index the exact same pages, so how much differentiation can be expected? Therefore, when choosing a search engine it’s the habit the plays the biggest role. Which means that in search it’s the channel that matters, not the content.

If you want to change the search game, you have to leapfrog the content and make it really matter. Relevancy and features are almost insignificant.

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