Search: Service to Application

John Battelle writes:

[The most interesting comment] came from Simply Hired CEO, Gautam Godhwani, when I asked him if he feared Google. “Google does search very well, but we have yet to see Google do applications well,” was his reply.

Interesting. As I thought about that, it struck me that what we are seeing right now is indeed the evolution of search companies from their roots providing a single service – one thing, done well – to a application suite that does many things. What does that mean, exactly?

What Godhwani was saying is that in the search field, applications are the next thing, and Google is just as new at this game as his company – if not more so in certain vertical fields.

It’s probably obvious to you, but for some reason this idea provides me with a way of grokking a much larger trend – why is it that Google is so focused on Toolbar, Desktop Search, Accelerator, Local, and Ajax-y things like Maps, etc.? It’s because to create a decent search application, you need to have a far more robust interface, and you need to know far more about the intent of the person that is using your application. A web-based service, on the other hand, does one thing well, and does it the same for everyone. Search is becoming an application, indeed, and that more than anything else explains very well Google’s recent moves.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.