Meebo, Picasa, Wave, Google Plus . . . All of these useful apps were killed by Google. Google has a fickle reputation. More often than not, they quickly kill struggling projects, rather than refine them.
Compare this to Microsoft. Excel, Word, Access, Internet Explorer, Windows Server, Windows itself — all were weak also-ran competitors to much stronger market leaders. Yet in each case Microsoft worked hard for years at improving its initially weak product until finally it kicked the king off its perch.
Google doesn’t seem to have Microsoft’s tenacity. Why? Maybe success came too quickly to Google. Pagerank and AdWords were instant succeses.
Which model will succeed? Don’t assume that Google will always be the search leader. Microsoft continues to refine Bing, and there’s a long trail of onetime market leaders — Novell, WordPerfect, Lotus, Netscape — lying dead in Microsoft’s wake.
Here’s a simple tip: when searching for Jeff Albertson, enclose his whole name in quotation marks — “Jeff Albertson”. Google’s results will exclude all other Jeffs and all other Albertsons. This works with most search engines.
Millionshort.com may be the anti-SEO[*] search engine. I’ve not been able to learn much about millionshort.com, other than that they seem to be Canada-based. Their domain registration expires next year, which doesn’t demonstrate a big commitment. My first guess was that millionshort.com scraped off the top layers of search results from an established search engine such as Google, but since I’ve not found any legal action against millionshort, maybe they’ve put together their own spider, database, and user interface — which is a major undertaking. Maybe they bought a defunct search engine, added some code, and re-branded it. I don’t know.
I’ve spent a little time experimenting with removing everything from the first million results to the first 100 results, and found some new sites.
Scroogle, a Google “scraper” site has appeared. Scroogle helps user privacy by scraping off Google’s cookies, and frequently purging user logs. I like Scroogle because it scrapes off Google’s obnoxious scripts. It also scrapes off Google AdWords ads.
I use Google every day. I usually have a good idea of what I’m looking for, but occasionally I don’t. At those times, http://stumbleupon.com/ helps. I tell it what categories I’m interested in, and stumbleupon finds pages that it thinks may interest me.
As you use stumbleupon, you train it to find similar pages by telling it what you think of the pages that it finds for you. With use, it becomes uncannily accurate at finding new pages.