There’s been plenty of chatter online about a new search engine that people started off as calling the Google killer but are now calling it, well, some not very nice things.
To be fair, I could care less about a new, vanilla, search engine. I will use Google until it stops working for me. Which I really can’t see happening for a while. The only thing that I would consider switching for is Twigg.
Twigg is something that only really exists in my head and it would likely take about $400m and 12 months to build. Oh, and first I would have to buy two of the hottest Web 2.0 properties in the world.
Twigg takes the social graph from the micro blogging application Twitter, a service I love to hate, and Digg, a service who’s users love to hate you.
I think Twitter is great fun. I can connect with my network and interact with people on my terms. The bad thing about Twitter is that I can connect with my network and interact with people on my terms. In other words, it is a complete time sink.
But, with me choosing to follow certain people, and showing that I trust them and their recommendations, it does provide the backbone to my new service.
I follow about 100 people, more or less, and the links they share with their followers are important to me – what if we could search through the people any one person follows on Twitter and pull out the links that are being shared?
Once you’ve pulled out all these links, you parse them through the Digg algorithm to determine what links are important to you based on when links where posted, how many times your network recommended them and whether or not people are recommending their own links.
Suddenly, Twigg now gives you a completely personalized discovery engine where the links you get to see are the ones that your network has already “approved”.
Pretty cool, no?
This sort of model would be excellent for discovering great content with genuine meaning for you; rather than just looking through vertically focused social news site for something you *may* find interesting, you get links vetted and recommended by your presumably trusted network.
However, it be no good for more specific research – who won the World Cup in 1966? Who recovered the Jules Rimet trophy? That sort of thing.
From SEO to Discovery Engine Optimization?
Lets not stop there though. Let’s imagine that it takes off and builds some critical mass – what does this new discovery engine do for the established Search Engine Optimization industry?
The simple answer is…not much.
SEO has been around for a while and, as a result, most corporations know about it and have SEO experts/agencies on retainer. There’s only so much you can do in tweaking a site to be optimized for Google’s/Yahoo!’s/Microsoft’s spiders and there’s a limit to the amount of content optimization around key words you can do as well.
So, if the technical structure and content legs of SEO are exhausted, there leaves only one avenue to work on: incoming links.
And the best way to increase the number of incoming links? Great content.
The best way to give your site visibility in the new “discovery” era? You got it.
Pretty cool, no?