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THESIS BY SONYA GONZALEZ MIER

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH 1


THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

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ABSTRACT ............................................................................................................................................................... 5 1. ONCE UPON A TIME ........................................................................................................................................... 7 SEARCH IS BORN ................................................................................................................................................. 7 MISSION STATEMENTS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD ........................................................................................ 8 2. USERS ARE ADDICTED TO INFORMATION ....................................................................................................... 11 HOW DO YOU GAIN INFORMATION? ............................................................................................................... 11 THE INTERNET IS THE NEW BRAND BATTLEGROUND....................................................................................... 12 THE GOOGLE ALGORITHM – THE WORLD’S BEST KEPT SECRET ....................................................................... 13 GOOGLE’S MONEY MAKING MACHINE............................................................................................................. 14 3. PERSONAL SEARCH........................................................................................................................................... 15 THE PERSONAL WAY OF SEARCH ...................................................................................................................... 15 IT’S ALL ABOUT BRANDS AND BUSINESS .......................................................................................................... 16 GOOGLE – THE SEARCH GIANT ......................................................................................................................... 19 4. THE GLOBAL STATE OF SEARCH ....................................................................................................................... 19 BAIDU – CHINA’S GOOGLE................................................................................................................................ 20 NAVER – SOUTH KOREA’S SECRET SEARCH WEAPON ...................................................................................... 20 YANDEX- THE RUSSIAN WAY OF SEARCH.......................................................................................................... 21 THE WORLD LARGEST SEARCH ENGINES .......................................................................................................... 22 5. FACEBOOK ........................................................................................................................................................ 23 ONCE UPON A TIME IN A HARVARD DORM… ................................................................................................... 23 THE SECRET RECEIPT OF SUCCESS .................................................................................................................... 23 FACEBOOK IS NOT ABOUT MAKING MONEY, OR IS IT? .................................................................................... 24 SEARCH - THE NEXT LEVEL ................................................................................................................................ 24 FACEBOOK’S CRAVE FOR SEARCH..................................................................................................................... 27 6. THE BATTLE FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH ...................................................................................................... 27 ADVERTISING 2.0 .............................................................................................................................................. 28 7. THE FUTURE OF SEARCH .................................................................................................................................. 31 IT’S ALL ABOUT THE AUTHOR ........................................................................................................................... 31 SEMANTIC & GRAPH SEARCH ........................................................................................................................... 31 SOCIAL SEARCH ................................................................................................................................................. 32 AUGUMENTED REALITY .................................................................................................................................... 33 CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................................................... 33 SOURCES… ............................................................................................................................................................ 35 3


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THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

ABSTRACT The way we search for information online is

Chapter 5, Aims to offer an overview of countries that have established overtime strong local search engines that challenge Google’s dominance in the western hemisphere. This includes Baidu in China, Naver in South Korea and Yandex in Russia.

on the verge of becoming more social. This thesis is about the development of search since it emerged in the 1990’s and explores the rivalry between Google and Facebook and how they shape the future of search. In order to understand the nature of search the first chapter will give an introduction to the foundations and how it emerged from simple directories like “Archie” to more complex search algorithms used by Yahoo four years later.

As mentioned above, search is becoming increasingly more personalised and tailored to users, which is why Facebook decided to enter this highly saturated market by offering a social search engine – Facebook Graph Search. Chapter 6 will explain how Graph Search is planning to fundamentally change the way we search, and how this affects businesses and users.

Furthermore Chapter 2 will examine the way people seek for information online and offline and why the internet is becoming more and more important in consumers everyday life. In addition, this Chapter will also explain Google’s current search algorithm which is based on link referrals from other websites and how brands and consumers benefit from it by finding the information they need.

In the next Chapter this thesis will compare the search developments of Google and Facebook and analyse how both approach the same vision from two completely different angles and what this means for users in the future.

However, search is not as simple as it might look at first. Search engines worldwide aim to offer more localised and personalised results for the users to increase the relevance of search results. Detailed in Chapter 3 this thesis will shed light on Google’s usage of Google+ in order to deliver a more personalised experience. This is further detailed in the next Chapter which deals with personalised search and how both brands and customers benefit from a more targeted search approach.

In Chapter 8, this thesis will draw a conclusion on the future of search and how trends like authorship, the increase of semantic search, more social integration and augmented reality will change the way we look for information.

By Sonya Gonzalez Mier

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1. Once upon a time THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

In order to understand the battle between Facebook and Google, the market leaders in search and social networks 2013, as well as the future of search it is imperative to understand the beginnings of this industry and its original mission.

web (Wall, 2003-2006). Archie only generated exact match results for file names, and offered information about the file size and country of origin, as shown in the picture below. (Carlson, 2013)

Before 1989 the internet was a rather geeky tool, mainly for the US military and other official organisations to store and send information between their entities. But this changed in 1989, when the “The World”, an internet service provider headquartered in Boston, MA, launched the first dial-up access for customers in the world (The World, 2013). Just a couple of month later in the same year, Tim Berners-Lee, who worked at CERN, developed a new and revolutionary data distribution network that he called the World Wide Web (Factmonster, 2007). These two milestones provided the basic structures to the commercialisation of the internet. From this point on consumers not only had the chance to access the network through dialling in, but also had a platform to create websites, content and connect them with each other.

“Archie” opened more doors and possibilities than ever before and in the period form 199094, 10 different search engines were developed to tap into this niche market (Anon., n.d.).It wasn’t however until 1994 that Yahoo, created by David Filo and Jerry Yang both Ph.D. candidates at Stanford University, proved to be a game changer in the world of search. Before Yahoo, search engines had always only listed the name of the website and had never actually rated the websites. Yahoo however was basically a compilation on Filo’s and Yang’s favourite websites that they had organised into categories and subcategories as a recommendation to other searchers resulting in a website directory of sorts (Salient Marketing, 2006). As the word spread quickly in fall 1994, Yahoo hit the 100.000 unique- visitors per day mark.

SEARCH IS BORN With increasing amounts of information, people had more and more problems to find the content they were actually interested in. In 1990 Alan Emtage, a student at McGill University in Montreal, tapped into this market gap and developed “Archie”, the short form for achieve, to find certain files on the 7


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THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

build a search engine that would value each page on a certain indicator called PageRank, looking at the amount of backlinks and therefore give an objective value to each page. A backlink is a link on Website B that links to interesting content on Website A. The argument was that if many people would link to a certain page, this would mean that this website had to have good content as everyone was referring to it via backlinks from their own page. With this technique both hoped to not only deliver relevant search results, but also highlight the quality of each search results to the searcher. BackRub which was started as their research search project and later turned into Google started in 1996 and evaluates the PageRank of each page by counting the amount of links as votes and also took into consideration the value of the linking websites itself. In 1998 when Google finally launched, it won in the same year $100,000 in seed funding in addition to a contract with AOL and Yahoo who agreed to feature Google generated rankings in its search results (Wall, 2003-2006).

In the early 90s the market of search engines was saturated with over 20 competing search engines, but only a few bothered to understand the user’s goal in web search and how search could be improved. Many search engines at that time relied on the promise of being fast but lacked in relevance. A paper published by the Yahoo founders in 2004 explains their approach to search and why it was important that any successful search engine needed to caters these needs. The study separates search queries into 3 distinct groups: navigational, informational, resource, challenging the search engines to provide fast and relevant information to the user. Navigational is defined as the search for a specific website. This can mean that the person might only know the name of the university but not the URL of their website, or it might be more convenient to search for it then type a long-winded URL. The second group of search queries is for informational purposes. This can mean that someone might look for the height of the Eiffel tower or for more information on a specific topic or person. The third category defines the demand for certain resources, as for example weather details or certain schedules for the gym next door (Rose & Levinson, 2004).

MISSION STATEMENTS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD A look both Yahoo and Google mission statements, reveals why these two search engines survived and won major market shares in comparison to the other search engines of that time.  “Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” (Google, 2013)  “Yahoo’s mission is to connect people to their passions, communities, and the world’s knowledge” (Baker, 2007)

Yahoo’s answer to these distinct groups of search queries was a web directory based on users recommendations and submission, but with over a million pages by that time, things started to get a little bit more complex. That is when Larry Page and Sergey Brin, both students at Stanford University, decided to 8


Although both look at the accessibility of the information online, a line can be drawn between both services. While Google focuses on the organisation of the information on the web by developing an algorithm that objectively evaluates each websites and presents the results to the user, Yahoo’s mission statement indicated that it aims to provide a more social environment where people can build a community, and share the existing knowledge. At beginning of 2000 both companies had about 28% market share (Microsite Blog, 2007), but over time Google proved to be the stronger algorithm and soon after, Yahoo started to lose substantial traffic to its site.

US SEACH MARKET SHARE 2002-2007 US Search Engine Market Share in %

80.00% 70.00% 60.00% 50.00% 40.00%

30.00% 20.00% 10.00% 0.00%

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

Google

29.20%

39.21%

36.50%

36.90%

44.70%

68.00%

Yahoo

28.50%

21.70%

30.50%

30.40%

28.50%

18.10%

MSN/Live

28.10%

18.47%

15.50%

15.70%

12.80%

9.20%

(ComScore, 2006), (Baker, 2005), (WebMasterWorld, 2003), (Crane, 2007), (Sullivan, 2009)

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THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

2.

USERS ARE ADDICTED TO INFORMATION!

In the fast changing market environment, marketers around the globe are keen to focus their companies marketing efforts on marketing channels that promise high brand exposure or strong conversion rates. Over time, internet (or digital) marketing and online exposure has become more and more important. Britons for example spent 1-2 hours online per day and 35.6 hours per month in 2012 (MarkJ, 2012).

and others can have a great influence on our personal decision making process. 3. Other independent sources. These can be magazines, consumer groups or even governmental agencies that are considered to be sovereign and reliable sources to receive information from. 4. Marketing Sources. This summarizes all marketing channels from sales personal, to websites and advertising. 5. Experimental Sources. We gain these sources when trailing a product or inspecting it before the purchase.

The word wide web has not only been a great way to expose the companies brand and services but also provides marketers with a great platform to communicate with target audiences around the world and provide a tailored experience fur users despite time, time zone or language.

It is important to note that all these sources have their own online and offline components. Most importantly however for search is that marketing activities (online and offline) are known to influence all 5 sources as they provide the basic information about the product, distribution and promotions on the market. (Hawkins & Motherbaugh, 2010)

HOW DO YOU GAIN INFORMATION? Search is at the very heart of consumer behaviour, as it’s is a vital part of the decision making process. When looking at the sources of information for a consumer, we can identify five different channels for gaining information about a product: 1. Our Memory. When looking back at past purchases, personal experiences of the product or low-involvement learning. 2. Our Personal Sources. Marketing campaign are trying more and more to encourage word-of mouth, as suggestions made by friends, family 11


THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH websites beat traditional information channels (like TV) as an information source 8 out of 10 times. (Hawkins & Motherbaugh, 2010)

The internet gives consumers unlimited to any information. Global Internet usage continues to grow as there are currently ca. 1.4 billion people online all around the world. Asia (530 Million), Europe (382 Million) and North America (264 Million) have the highest number of internet users, but the growth potential lies currently in Africa, Asia and Latin America (Hawkins & Motherbaugh, 2010). According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project 92% of the users in the US use search engines to find information on the Internet, 76% look for news online and 71% buy a product online. (Purcell, 2011)

THE INTERNET IS THE NEW BRAND BATTLEGROUND Considering that 93% of all online activity starts with a search and that 40% of the world population have an internet connection (Bianchini, 2011), brands realise that search provides 2 distinct advantages: 1. Online information can boost offline purchases. The Pew survey reveals that nearly half of internet users are more likely to purchase a company product offline if the websites provide the necessary information online. 2. Online sources reduce salespersons role in the store or on the phone. DoubleClicks survey found that 51% of internet users across eleven product/service categories required considerably less assistance from a sales person on their current purchase compared with their last.

(Purcell, 2011)

This shows how important the internet is in the search and decision making process. Research suggests that the internet has become the preferred source of product related information among internet users. This is a result of various factors:

It is therefore really important for brands to be online to enhance sales and save costs. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing have the mission to make finding information as easy as possible. A DoubleClick study examined search engine use in a 12 week period preceding an online purchase. They found that 50% of online purchases were preceded by an information search using a search engine (Hawkins & Motherbaugh, 2010). As expected, generic search dominated the early stages of the decision process followed by brand-specific searches right before the purchase.

1. Users expect to find product information online. A survey conducted by Pew Internet (Pew Internet, 2002) shows that 69% of all American users expect to find up-to date and reliable information about the product or service on the internet. 2. Online sources are perceived as valuable as according to a survey by DoubleClick (which was acquired by Google) corporate and third-party 12


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THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

The internet is becoming more and more popular as advantages include its efficiency and speed. Furthermore, is it very easy to receive much different information about the same product in a short period of time to process a better decision. Despite these advantages, internet consumers often face an information overload, which is why more and more specialised services are entering the market. Graph search is aiming to tap into this market by provided personalised results fed by friend’s activity.

other websites to verify it. These are called off-site criteria. Off-site is based on links and mentions that are counted as references to the content of a site. If other pages confirm that Website A is about books and the page structure of website A talks mainly about different books, Google recognises it as a good source for books, and it will appear in the search results for the key term “books”. As easy as this sounds, Google has been always very secretive about its exact search algorithm that also takes in consideration social signals and other factors.

THE GOOGLE ALGORITHM – THE WORLD’S BEST KEPT SECRET

The algorithm is constantly changed and adjusted by Google to provide better search results. The two biggest updates in terms of links have been Penguin, which was rolled out in late April 2012 and affected 3% of the English searches worldwide and Panda, which was introduced in February 2011. The main aim was to clean up websites that had been built for the sole purpose of search engine optimization and spamming and did not match with Google’s quality standards (Google Penguin Update, 2013). Since then Penguin 2.0 was released in May 2013, which affected 3.4% of all English search queries. In addition to Penguin, Google released an update called Panda, which targeted poor quality content on websites that were able to rank well without giving good value to page visitors (Gunson, 2011).

How does Google currently evaluate its websites and create search results for its users? As mentioned in the previous chapter Google has developed a complex search algorithm which crawls every single website on the internet and evaluates it based on various criteria. These can be roughly divided into 2 main areas – on-site and off-site. Let’s consider their differences. On-site is the term for the code structure of each website. When the spider algorithm crawls through the website all it can evaluate is the code behind each page. Most important are structural HTML segments like headers, meta descriptions and sitemaps that indicate to the crawler what the page is about. The crawler then classifies the website into a specific category and looks for reference on

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The reasons why most of the brands aim to be on page 1 for a specific search term are the click through rates for these results. Click through rates (or CTR) describe the percentage of users that click on the website that ranks on a certain position in the Google search results. (CodexM)

GOOGLE’S MONEY MAKING MACHINE Adwords on the other hand is the result of the monetization of search. In 2012, 96% of Google's revenue came from advertising as it is acts as the world biggest online ad server (Channel 4, 2012). Through Google’s online services, like Gmail and YouTube, it is able to monitor behaviour and therefore to serve extremely targeted ads to a wide range of target audiences. The Adwords platform enables marketers to reach a great range of people while being in 100% control of costs and keeping overall costs to a minimum. Pay per Click (PPC) allows businesses to bid for certain keywords that their ads are supposed to show for. Advertisers only pay when people click on the ads, putting it in Google’s and the business’ interest to serve quality ads that drive traffic and clicks. The prices for each advert are calculated by the initial bid for the keyword plus the quality score that Google attributes to the ad. The Adwords quality score classifies ads in different categories and only allows businesses to publish adverts that are above average. The better the quality score the cheaper it is to publish the online ad, as quality and relevance are the priority for Google (Duermyer). Google classifies its paid results as paid advertising in its search results, as this reassures its users that the search results are solely based on quality and not money. Depending on the product or services this can boost sales in a specific period or can be used for lead generation. The main disadvantage of PPC is that as soon as ads stop, traffic stops to the website. This is the reason why more and more businesses turn to SEO as it provides a more long-term strategy in terms of traffic numbers and visibility online.

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3.

PERSONAL SEARCH

When looking at the future of search the most important factor of survival will be the quality of search results for the user. Over the past year, especially Google has pushed the boundaries when it comes to this by slowly rolling out the concept of personal search.

business and services are marked down on a map based on the data provided. Another factor of personalization of search results is achieved by Google looking at everyone’s search history. With the use of cookies, Google stores a minimum 180 day record of all search queries to predict the user’s interest and usability patterns and improve future search results. For people who use other Google products like Gmail, Google reserves the right to store search information of several years in its web history. Personalised search results often show the date of the last visit and will certainly appear more often in related search results.

THE PERSONAL WAY OF SEARCH Personal search is designed to give every individual user the most relevant information for the search term entered based on several different factors (Sullivan, 2012): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Geography Search History Personal Sharing Social Connections Personal previous query Everyone’s previous query Magic keywords

Personal Sharing has grown in impact over the last couple of years as Google realised that not everyone was searching for the same terms and same information. With its new social network Google+, the search algorithm started to include posts and articles in the user’s personal search results based on his or her activity on Google+.

The feature of geographical adaptation of search results has been one of the first features released as Google noticed that if people searched for keywords like Zoo, they would most likely look for the zoo in the area and not on another continent of in the next city. In order to determine the location of the searcher Google accesses the IP address of the computer, and will therefore determine the language of the search engine and the location of the search results. This concept further advances with Google Places, which provides a separated set of search results displayed on the top of searches, where local

Furthermore, search now takes also a user’s friends and connection into consideration when portraying personalised search results. Content liked or shared by online connections will now be preferred in your personal search results. Google’s analysis has demonstrated that content that is interesting to someone’s friends is usually also interesting to the user. This also extends to brands that users are connected with on Google+, as these will 15


THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

receive preferred rankings in comparison to their competitors in personalised search.

lead generation Adwords offers a way generate immediate results by showing ads on the very top of search results and showing brands the return on investment of their activities by providing them with information over clicks and conversion rates. Furthermore Adwords provides brands with the flexibility to immediately react to trends or seasons without having to optimize their website.

A variation of personalisation based on the search history is the importance of the directly preceding search query. When searching for flag and then Germany, the search algorithm will try to make sense of the two preceding search queries and display besides the general Germany results also the German flag.

Besides this, brands are able to shape their brand image and attitude through Google’s search results. By pushing out interesting and relevant content that is specifically created for the targeted audience, brands are able to reinforce their brand values and provide added value outside their product or service. A possible example would be if a removals company created a removal check list to download as a PDF for free from their website.

The newest adaptation for personal search however emerged in November 2012 and is related to crowdsourcing. Looking at search trends connected with certain popular “magic keywords”, Google composes search results that are not only based on the user’s personal search habits, but also on the search trends of the masses connected with this term. A popular example of this can be seen when searching for Obama, which brings up not only information about him, but also about his biggest political projects like Medicare and his rival Romney in the last elections. On the other hand, this is not the case with Romney due to the smaller amount of search queries recorded.

Social media has become a very important tool to create loyalty to influence customers’ behaviour in the sense of increasing the number of satisfied and committed buyers. Through social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, brands are able to create an online community to get in direct contact with its existing customers and target group. Social media is defined by its 2-way nature that allows brands to push out content but on the other hand also listen to costumers and react to customer feedback.

IT’S ALL ABOUT BRANDS AND BUSINESS Although search has been primarily evolved around the user’s needs and wants, brands are aware that search engines like Google are the gateway to creating and shaping brand awareness, brand image, and brand attitudes, as well as to attracting new customers and creating customer loyalty (Pelsmacker, Geuens, & Bergh, 2010).

When considering the power of word-ofmouth, the power of search engines and social media platforms cannot be denied. Especially in the field of expensive, risky, or highly visible products, customer reviews online have a big influence on the purchase of the product. A study from 2010 shows that more than 90% of customers trust recommendations from other consumers or platforms like tripadvisor.co.uk , whereas

To aid brands, Google created several platforms for brands to utilize and reach their target groups and client base. When looking at the generation of brand awareness and 16


THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

trust in ads runs from a high of about 40% to less than 10% (Kotler, Armstrong, Wong, & Saunders, 2010). Websites like Amazon have built upon this and allow customers to review their product which further deepens trust in the website and allows receiving feedback from other customers. When dealt with correctly brands are able to create opinion leaders through online interaction and supply them with the product on attractive terms or by educating them so they can inform others.

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THESIS

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4.

search engine overtaking giants like Yahoo. Especially in the UK (91%), Europe and the USA, Google dominates the search market. However, the US and Europe are not the centre of the online universe. With only 41% of the worldwide internet audience they don’t even represent half of the online community anymore. The focus lies now on Asia Pacific with 42% alone, Latin America and the Middle East- Africa.

THE STATE OF SEARCH 2013

Distribution of Worldwide Online Audience May 2013 Europe

14%

27%

9%

Asia Pacific Latin America

8% 42%

(ComScore, 2013) Nonetheless, Google’s reach is astonishing. With around 620 million visitors daily on Google.com, Google needs to process 20 petabyte of Information per day. After becoming the world’s largest search engine in 2010, Google became so incorporated into people’s lives that it even became a part of people’s language, as we see in the saying: “Just Google it!”. Furthermore, in 2013, nearly 57% of the American kids are saying Google as their first word. (Cute, 2013).

Although it might seem like Google is dominating the search landscape worldwide, this chapter aims to shed light on the global state of search in 2013. Russia and China have developed over time their own “Googles” and even in the western hemisphere Google is facing stronger competition than ever.

GOOGLE – THE SEARCH GIANT Google is a well-established tech company. As stated earlier, started by Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1996 at Stanford University, it grew within 4 year to the world’s largest 19


THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

BAIDU – CHINA’S GOOGLE

commerce, creating a strong combination of search and e-commerce. (Lau, 2013)

China on the other hand, has created its own search engine called Baidu. Like Google, Baidu dominates the Chinese search market with 70.49%, conducting 3 out of every 4 search queries on their search engine.

Google’s failure in the Chinese market can be drawn back to its entry to the Chinese market in 2005. Observers identified that Google didn’t gain a big market share due to its lack of localisation to the Chinese “search culture” and the lack of entertainment products offered in comparison with Baidu and Quihoo. (Kakkar, 2012) But a lack of localisation is not the only issue of Google in China. The Chinese government blocked Google’s services multiple times since its launch in China especially during political sensitive times. The last time Google was blocked by the Chinese Firewall was in 2012 during the annual Communist Party’s National Congress. Not only Google Search was blocked but also multiple Google services like Gmail weren’t accessible for about 10 hours. Google+ has not been accessible like Facebook or Twitter, since its launch in June 2012 (Eördögh, 2012). Due to these political tensions and Chinese regulations Google introduced in 2005 a warning to users who searched for blocked search queries like “freedom”. If typed in, Google showed a banner explaining that this search term would possible break the connection to Google for a short while and show possible alternatives. The Chinese government attempts to undermine this were answered by Google in 2010 with the threat to retreat from the Chinese market. However, since its last discussions with the authorities, Google has agreed to comply with the national regulations and is not showing the warning anymore (Bort, 2013).

China - Search Engine Market Share March 2013 1% 4% 4%

Baidu 0%

Qihoos So.com

8%

Sogou 12% 71%

Google Soso.com Bing

(Millward, 2013) Unlike Google, Baidu offers a pay-forperformance approach for their paid search business, as users bid to have their website placed on the top of the organic search results. Furthermore, it offers a similar advertising space similar to Google, which is displayed at the top right hand of page results. Although some might think that the Chinese search market is already saturated, a new competitor has emerged with the goal to claim some of Baidu’s market share. Alibaba, China’s e-commerce online giant in which Yahoo has a 24% stake (Pimentel, 2013), has quietly revealed Aliyun Search in March 2013 with the aim to leverage on the highest number of digital buyers worldwide with close to 220 million people buying goods online in 2012. Alibaba is aiming to combine Yahoo’s search algorithm with its insights into e-

NAVER – SOUTH KOREA’S SECRET SEARCH WEAPON But not only China has its only search engine. Naver, the dominant search engine in South Korea has been consistently strong against international and national competitors like Google, Baidu and Daum.

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THESIS

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH language search engines with significant market dominance in Russia.

Search Market Share Dec. 2012

On October 1, 2012, Yandex launched its own browser and mobile app to keep its position secure against Google, its only real competitor in the space.

2%

20%

Naver

Yandex's advantage in Russian seems to be based on an algorithm that performs much better in understanding the unique syntax used and integrating that into the consideration of what type of results the user is likely looking for (for example – is the search string a question or simply keyword entry). (Davies, 2012)

Google 52% 26%

Daum Baidu

Search Traffic Market Share in Russia, May 2013

(Kaji, 2013) As in China, experts reason that Google’s weakness can be explained in the lack of localisation and knowledge of the syntax to produce useful search results to its Korean users (Schwartz, 2007). Since its launch in 1999, Naver has been steadily at the top in terms of search market share. However since Yahoo’s exit of the market in 2012, the two national search engines Daum and Naver have seen a decline while Google stats to slowly gain more market share.

1%

1%

2%

9%

Yandex

Google Search.Mail.ru 34%

53%

Rambler Bing Other

Unlike Google, Naver’s search results don’t focus on paid search but give users a good overview of organic search engine results, shopping offers, knowledge directory, work directory, maps, books, news and the Naver community before showing the paid results on the very bottom of the page. Both national search engines, Naver and Daum, adopted this layout, which prefers their own media content over advertisement (Kaji, 2013). This further underlines the importance of localisation in search.

(liveinternet.ru, 2013) With 53% of the market share, Yandex has a comfortable lead on its competitors. Nonetheless, Yandex is currently trying to expand, especially to Turkey, by offering a sophisticated map service, and by expanding its additional service platform to other languages to compete with Google in these local markets.

YANDEX- THE RUSSIAN WAY OF SEARCH When looking at Russia, a similar picture in terms of market share can be drawn. Yandex is the primary and most popular of all Russian21


THE WORLD LARGEST SEARCH ENGINES According to the comScore qSearch report, the 5 largest search engines are: Google, Baidu, Yahoo, Yandex and Bing.

GLOBAL SEARCH MARKET SHARE IN BILLIONS 140 120 100 80 Global Search Market Share in Billions

60 40 20 0 Google

Baidu

Yahoo

Yandex

Bing

ComScore’s report suggests that only two out of Top-5 search entities increased their market share in comparison to last year: Baidu (13%) and Yandex (27.8%), while the total number of search queries worldwide decreased by 4.6% since December 2011. Exploring this more deeply, reveals that the audience growth continues to evolve and grow in Russia, however, global growth in Western markets where Microsoft has most of their share has slowed down.

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5. ONCE UPON A TIME IN A HARVARD DORM…

League schools and other North American colleges in 2003 making it available at 30 campuses and having 150 000 active users by the end of the year.

When Mark Zuckerberg came back from a date on the 28th of October 2003, he was definitely not planning to create the biggest and most successful social network of all times. But as life is not always going in the planned direction, he did certainly build the capstone for Facebook that night by creating facemash.com. After hacking Harvard’s student database, Facemash offered its visitors to compare 2 faces of different female students and choose if they were “hot” or “not”. Although the fame didn’t last long as angry students called for the Harvard administration to take the site down and Mark had to apologise in the Harvard newspaper, facemash.com revealed that people were ready for a social interaction platform.

THE SECRET RECEIPT OF SUCCESS The reason for this slow roll-out and one of the things that made Facebook so successful was its simple design and reliability. In contrast to Friendster for example, Mark Zuckerberg made sure that no new college was added before enough capacity was set up to handle the traffic. Friendster made the mistake of expanding too fast, which attracted many users and ultimately slowed down the website and hurt the experience of the user. As it took Friendster almost a year to sort things out, Facebook had already secured its foot in the door and was gaining users steadily. (Blodget, 2012) However, this is not the only reason why Facebook has become such a successful platform. Based on the BJ Foggs Behavior Model Facebook stands out because of one factor –the motivating of its users to come back again and again and use its features to connect with people around the world. (Oberhauser, 2011) The model shows that 3 different elements needs to occur at the same time to trigger behaviour: trigger, ability and motivations.

Just a few months later, in January 2003, Zuckerberg and the co-founders of Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Mokcowitz, and Chris Hudges launched TheFacebook. As described on the initial website, TheFacebook was originally an “online directory that connected people from Facebook through social networks at colleges.” (Zuckerberg, 2003). Within 24 hours after the announcement 1200 students had signed up and within 1 month, 50% of the entire undergraduate program had a profile set up. Due to popular demands, TheFacebook opened its servers in 2004 to Ivy

In Facebook’s case, the platform has perfected its platform in a way to motivate users to visit its website. Triggers include for

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example the email notifications that users get in case they have been tagged in a comment or picture and which draws a person to go on Facebook out of curiosity. In terms of ability, Facebook has always strived for simplicity for all its products and features. However ability does not only have to do with the structure of Facebook itself but also with time. Facebook Home is the newest product designed to cater this factor to generate behaviour. In a world where people have less and less time and are on the search for easy and fast information and updates, Facebook developed a home skin for Android devices. This skin acts as the home screen and users see immediately their newsfeed and any notifications without having to navigate to the Facebook app. The motivation to use Facebook finally can be multifaceted and is often very personal. A study by the Taylor and Francis Group (Hunta et al., 2012) suggests that entertainment and passing time are the 2 most important motivation factors to use the platform. This is against the contrary belief that most of the users are using Facebook to maintain longterm relationships online.

Within a short time frame over 100 000 local and global business profiles had been created and opened for Facebook new business channels in terms of direct advertising. Facebook currently operates on an adsupported business model. The main challenge to this has been proving a successful conversion rate from online adverts to meaningful sales for marketing investors. As Facebook collects every day information about its users, it is able to offer marketers the ability to narrow down a specific target group based on demographics, location and personal interests. As of May 2013, Facebook derives 82% of its revenues from advertising on its website, however marketers see great future opportunities in the mobile platform and its new social search engine, graph search.

SEARCH - THE NEXT LEVEL As discussed in the earlier chapters search has been developing into 2 main directions in the last couple of years – local and personal. Local in a sense that Google used the searchers IP address to find out where the search was initialized from to prefer local websites and services in its search results.

FACEBOOK IS NOT ABOUT MAKING MONEY, OR IS IT?

The challenge to make it personal has been a quite big problem for Google in the past. With the launch of Google+ the giant tried to establish something similar to Facebook to gather even more personal information about its users. Google has been able to collect a lot of users information especially through their secondary services like Gmail and YouTube however, this only provides very little information that would allow personal reviews based on personal online relationships.

After 7 years in operations, Facebook claimed in 2009 for the first time a positive cash flow. Despite the pressure of investors, Facebook always travelled on the highly unpopular road that the product and user itself are the main focus of Facebook and that profitability is not as important. Businesses however around the worlds got excited about the social media platform when it allows businesses in 2007 to open brand pages and have fans connecting with them.

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In terms of data, Facebook has a big advantage against Google. Millions and millions of users are giving away everyday their opinions, activities and position to Facebook’s database. This allows Facebook to create a search engine that is based on word of mouth rather than on an objective mathematical algorithm – Facebook Graph Search. Facebook bases Graph Search on the belief users will be more inclined to trust their friend’s reviews and recommendations on for the example the best Indian restaurant rather than searching in Google for it. The algorithm connects social graphs with the search query to answer the user’s question. The social graph identifies nodes (individuals and organisations), ties (variables as age, gender, marital status, hobbies, political affiliations, occupation, and education) and identifies common interests and characteristics that result in highly personalised search results relevant for the users immediate network connections (Wigmore, 2013) . Common search queries could for example be: “People in my company that like cooking”, “Pictures from our Graduation Ceremony”. In the following chapter we will study what the differences are and how Facebook is planning to revolutionize search in the upcoming years.

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6.

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The Battle of Search

FACEBOOK’S CRAVE FOR SEARCH Despite first reactions after Facebook Graph Search was revealed, Facebook made it clear that it’s not planning to compete directly with Google. As outlined in the previous chapter, Google is not only dominating the western hemisphere but also well established in countries like China and Russian. Facebook is therefore about to take on an uncertain challenge: enter a fully saturated market, slowly gain market share and change at the same time the way how people search for information.

Google+ is only growing so fast because Google is forcing the service on its users. With each new YouTube, Gmail or other Google service account, users are automatically signed up for Google+ amounting to 500million Google+ accounts. Of these accounts only “235 million are active across Google (+1'ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search...), and 135 million are active in just the stream." (Gundotra, 2012).This means that only 27% of all Google service users are actively using the platform to share content with others.

The first step for Facebook is certainly to make users comfortable with using a social network as the primary source of local information and show businesses another option besides Google Adwords. Social Search as highlighted earlier, has become an integral part of Google since the launch of Google’s social network platform, Google+. However, despite the fact that Google+ has become the second largest social network in Europe and America (Ross, 2013), a more in-depth research from December 2013 shows that

Facebook has in comparison over 1.1 billion active users (Press, 2013) and 665 million daily users (Smith, 2013)who share their thoughts, pictures and memories with their social connections online. These points to something Facebook can do and Google can’t – leverage the data created by personal connections. When looking for a restaurant, instead of relying on Google’s “objective” algorithm, people are able to search for Italian restaurants that their Italian friends like, and much more. Results are more meaningful to the users as they are presented in the context 27


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of personal relationships, which makes them also more trustworthy.

data while it’s slowly being rolled out on English-speaking profiles.

Despite the general acceptance of Graph Search in public, people voiced their concerns over privacy issues at Facebook shortly after the launch in June. Of the 1 billion active users, 13 million users have never touched their security settings. This results in 28% of users that posts their statuses to a wider audience than just their friends, meaning that many of these status updates are public for everyone to see and find through Graph Search (Wallace, 2013). Company Executives have repeatedly assured that security settings in place will be respected and that no pictures or posts will show without having the permission of the user. Security experts are mainly accusing Facebook of hiding important security setting or making it very difficult to turn certain functions off. Facebook has therefore announced to introduce new privacy tools that are more accessible and encourage people to adjust them to their personal preferences before all users have Graph Search (Tate, 2013).

(Li & Boucher, 2013)

ADVERTISING 2.0 In terms of monetisation Facebook is about to rethink its advertising model with the help of Graph Search. Until now, ads where targeted to users based on their interest and behaviour on the Facebook platform, but as Google proved, search is the most effective advertising engine of all times because people are directly looking for something and show their intent.

Another important innovation for search that Facebook is planning to establish is the use of natural language in comparison to the known keyword based search on Google. Established search engines like Google, have changed our behaviour by forcing us to identify certain keywords, in order to find the results online as for example “Italian restaurant, Camden, good review”. Facebook Graph Search however takes the approach of natural language search as it believes that keywords are good to find objects, but very bad in finding connections between the objects (O'Dell, 2013). Based on the parse tree below Facebook is aiming to optimize its search results by collecting more

As mentioned in the previous chapters, Google Search is slowly moving towards a more personalised approach, treating each user individually based on past searches and search behaviours and target their ads accordingly. However, with the help of Graph Search, Facebook can leverage its data on the on the user’s personal connections and offer businesses the holy grail of targeted advertising – to bid on terms that are related to the business and have been liked by the users friends. By combining intent and what someone likes with what this persons connections like together, Facebook is able to create a very powerful search algorithm that 28


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is 100% personalised and can provide the person with truly relevant information (Koetsier, 2013).

Google on the other hand will have the challenge to not only create many Google+ accounts but convince people to be more social as well.

As Google has been improving its search algorithm for years now, it has had the change to prepare itself for contenders like Facebook. As it is very well established it is highly unlikely, that Adwords will drastically loose business with the launch of Graph Search as many local and global companies are relying on it to create brand aware and generate leads. Nonetheless, Facebook preposition is more long-term focused as it is planning to change consumer behaviours and establish natural search as the new standard. Dave Andrew, the CEO of Blinq Media predicts that Facebook is expected to cut into search volume as local and lifestyle search queries can be better served with Facebook Search Graph (Williams, 2013). As well as Facebook Search Graph will show its own results, it will also provide search data provided by Bing to answer any other queries. In order to provide users with the best of both worlds, Facebook has partnered up with Bing to provide users with search engine results along with Facebook data such as Facebook pages and other social context information. Microsoft, the provider of the Bing platform, will also benefit from this partnership as it will be able to further undermine Google’s dominance (Williams, 2013). These developments show that Google and Facebook are concentrating to deliver a social search feature, however as Google approaches it from the search side, Facebook will try to leverage on its social data. In order to attract advertising, Facebook will have to prove that its users are happy for the platform to use private data in search and that it has a big enough impact to change search behaviour patterns as Google once did.

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7.

THE future OF SEARCH

THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

When speaking about the future of search, we have to acknowledge that both the search and social landscape are extremely fast changing markets that are innovating constantly. As innovation seems to hide behind every corner, predictions that will be made in this chapter might be old school in a couple of years. There are however, hints on where companies like Google, Facebook and Bing are planning to focus and predictions how this could change the way we find and consume information.

designed to outweigh and replace Page Rank in the future. Different than PageRank, the AgentRank is subjective to the topic, making it harder for a person to gain a high authority for multiple topics and industries. Users are already showing a positive tendency regarding this change as Google started to show the Google+ profile picture of authors next to their content in search results and this resulted in 30% higher click-through-rates (Biyevetskiy, 2012).

IT’S ALL ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Besides the mentioned opportunities, AgentRank is particularly interesting to new website owners. Currently, in order to rank a new website well, one needs not only to optimize it, but also follow the long process of gaining links. With AgentRank it is theoretically possible to launch a new website and it will rank well as long as the author has established a high authority for the relevant topic that the website is about. This opens new opportunities for not only individuals but also brands who want to establish their online presence faster.

After considering factors like links, HTML structures and others, Google is about to roll out the so-called AgentRank. This dimension will measure the authority of a specific individual for a specific topic online. The aim is to not only provide the best possible search results to users, but also encourage online publishers to sign their publications and register them with Google by using a rel=author or rel=publisher signature (Biyevetskiy, 2012). Based on this and the engagement of the users with the content, as for example bounce rates or social shares, Google is planning to reward authoritative authors with higher rankings, in comparison to similar content from other authors or without the identity. Patents handed in by Google suggest, that AgentRank will be

SEMANTIC & GRAPH SEARCH Just as our brain is trained to search for patterns and come up with solutions and answers, search engines will become more 31


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intelligent by picking up signals described as semantic co-occurrences. This phenomenon describes the process of helping search engines parse and understand content better in order to provide more accurate results than are possible with keywords alone.

group of people in the world, as long as they have a Facebook profile.

SOCIAL SEARCH Going hand in hand with semantic search, social is set to become increasingly important to search. The new approach of semantic approach (to group ideas in patterns and offer fitting search results) and social search (which is about tying in social information into the algorithm) aim to achieve more personalised and accurate search results. Bing was the first search engine to incorporate Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn into its search results, by showing them in a separate side bar. On top of that Bing allows asking questions through those platforms and tagging friends without ever leaving Bing.

Examples of this can already be seen in Google, Facebook and Bing. Google implemented semantic search in its Google Knowledge Graph, which is mostly focused on facts and figures, but also started recently to include social signals. Nonetheless it is still mostly based on statics and Wikipedia content (Starr, 2013). The next step for Google is Google Now, which is already integrated on the Android platform as competitor to Siri and had recently its debut for Chrome. Users of the Google Chrome browser can talk into the laptops or computers microphone and Google will identify the question and offer an answer. This is also planned to become an integral part of Google Glass.

Google in comparison is focusing its social efforts on Google+ which is favoured in its search results and is deeply integrated with its search algorithm. In addition, it started to roll out “Search plus your world” which draws its information from all Google services like Gmail and enables Google+ users to display these information in their Google results.

Bing is also trying to innovate in this direction with its Bing Tiles. This is again a more social approach to semantic search that includes information from LinkedIn and Facebook to create better search results for the users and lets them control the appearance of the search results (Starr, 2013). Some say that this is something that Bing should highlight more in order to gain more market share from Google as it gives the user back some control.

Brands are now actively joining this development by creating more social profiles on Google+ to get in touch with their target audiences and have an advantage towards other competitors in Google’s results. Skerry from iProspect says: "For many brands with a Google+ profile, that social network is given a lot of weight in Google and pops up at the top of a search. It's important that if you have a Google+ presence, it's active and has information that is up to date because it can be a real influence on the end user." (Murphy, 2012)

As discussed, Facebook is clearly is planning to become the leader in semantic search in the next few years. Not only is it able to draw on all the social information it gains from its users every day, but also will be able to create 100% customised search results with Facebook Graph Search. From a marketer’s perspective, this will allow highly-targeted micro campaigns which can be aimed to any 32


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AUGUMENTED REALITY

interactions and personal recommendations of the user social network.

Technology has been moving very quickly in the past decades, and is on the verge of becoming our new reality. Augmented reality is exactly this, making technology not a separate gadget, but an extension of us and the reality we move and operate in. Google Glass is Google attempt to enter this niche market. They are glasses that include a build in monitor, camera and microphone can (if connected with the internet) surf the web, make videos, pictures or send an email with the blink of an eye. (O'Brien, 2013)

This could not only be a strong competition for Google and Bing, but also change the users search behaviour as Facebook will base Graph Search on natural language queries. Tied in with the increasing relevance of social signals and personal networks in search, authorship will become a major factor in Googles search algorithm in the future. This will not only encourage bloggers to publish quality content, but give users the chance to add quality authors to their networks and receive more quality personalised search results that match their interests.

In regards of businesses, the gap between online and offline is become even more blurry and users will look for new way of integration. On the other hand, Google will be able to retrieve much more information about its users making it easier to create more personalised search results and give advertisers the chance to highly-micro target their market segments.

Last but not least, search will play a more important role in the future as gadgets like Google Glass and our smart phones are slowly become our extended realities, making search a daily process in the hunt for any information.

CONCLUSION When looking at the future of search, its use for brands and users worldwide, this thesis outlines that localisation and personalisation are key for an enhanced user experience. While search algorithms are constantly adjusting to include social signals like Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn, they are also becoming more semantic in their search approach in order to replicate human search patterns.

Following the social trends Facebook is taking advantage of its strong position in social and the data gathered from it to set up their own search engine that is based on social

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SOURCES… Chapter 1:

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Kaji, T., 2013. New trend emerging in South Korea’s search engine market. [Online] Available at: http://www.covario.com/2013/05/new-trend-in-south-korea-search-engine-market-is-naver-stilldominant/#fbid=v0UnDbmKAHt [Accessed 10 June 2013]. Kakkar, M., 2012. Google China. [Online] Available at: http://www.slideshare.net/manan/googlechina [Accessed 05 May 2013]. Kerr, D., 2013. Bing falls to 5th global search engine, surpassed by Yandex. [Online] Available at: http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57568315-93/bing-falls-to-5th-global-search-engine-surpassedby-yandex/ [Accessed 05 May 2013]. Lau, A., 2013. Is Alibaba's New Search Engine Aliyun a Threat to Baidu in China? [Online] Available at: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2253393/Is-Alibabas-New-Search-Engine-Aliyun-a-Threat-toBaidu-in-China [Accessed 05 May 2013]. liveinternet.ru, 2013. Site Statistics. [Online] Available at: http://www.liveinternet.ru/stat/ru/searches.html?period=month;lang=en [Accessed 30 May 2013]. Millward, S., 2013. Qihoo’s Search Engine Market Share Up 2%, Mainly at Expense of Baidu. [Online] Available at: http://www.techinasia.com/china-qihoo-market-share-goes-up-but-baidu-downfebruary-2013/ [Accessed 05 May 2013]. Pimentel, B., 2013. Yahoo seen getting even more Alibaba value. [Online] Available at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/yahoo-seen-getting-even-more-alibaba-value-2013-05-07 [Accessed 10 June 2013]. Schwartz, B., 2007. Naver, The Google Of South Korea. [Online] Available at: http://searchengineland.com/naver-the-google-of-south-korea-11627 [Accessed 10 June 2013].

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Chapter 6: Gundotra, V., 2012. Google+: Communities and photos. [Online] Available at: http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/google-communities-and-photos.html [Accessed 25 May 2013]. Koetsier, J., 2013. Facebook’s new Graph Search and Google: This means war. [Online] Available at: http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/16/facebooks-new-graph-search-and-google-this-means-war/ [Accessed 26 May 2013]. Li, X. & Boucher, M., 2013. Facebook Natural Language Engineering. [Online] Available at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/138527966/Facebook-Natural-Language-Engineering [Accessed 26 May 2013]. O'Dell, J., 2013. Facebook explains why it used natural language to compete with Google search. [Online] Available at: http://venturebeat.com/2013/04/29/facebook-graph-search-natural-languageengineering/ [Accessed 26 May 2013]. Press, T.A., 2013. Number of active users at Facebook over the years. [Online] Available at: http://news.yahoo.com/number-active-users-facebook-over-230449748.html [Accessed 25 May 2013]. Ross, M.S., 2013. Google+ Surpasses Twitter to Become Second Largest Social Network. [Online] Available at: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-plus-surpasses-twitter-to-becomesecond-largest-social-network/57740/ [Accessed 26 May 2013]. Smith, C., 2013. (May 2013 Update) By the numbers: 32 amazing Facebook Stats. [Online] Available at: http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/by-the-numbers-17-amazing-facebook-stats/ [Accessed 26 May 2013]. Williams, D., 2013. How Facebook's Graph Search Will Dethrone Google Search. [Online] Available at: http://adage.com/article/digitalnext/facebook-s-graph-search-dethrone-google-search/239509/ [Accessed 26 May 2013].

Chapter 7: Biyevetskiy, A., 2012. How to Win Big in Google and Bing – Embrace the Future of Search! [Online] Available at: http://www.catalystsearchmarketing.com/future-of-search-engine-optimizationgoogle-and-bing/ [Accessed 26 May 2013]. Murphy, S., 2012. Why We're 'Only in the Early Days' of Social Search. [Online] Available at: http://mashable.com/2012/08/24/social-search-trends/ [Accessed 28 May 2013]. O'Brien, J., 2013. How AR Will Change the Way We Search. [Online] Available at: http://mashable.com/2013/03/12/visual-search/ [Accessed 28 May 2013].

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THE FIGHT FOR THE FUTURE OF SEARCH

Starr, B., 2013. Semantic & Graph-Based Search: The Future Face Of Search. [Online] Available at: http://searchengineland.com/semantic-graph-based-search-the-future-face-of-search-156461 [Accessed 28 May 2013].

Pictures: http://mobile-wallpapers.feedio.net/silhouette-picture-gorilla-silhouette/fun-with-pictures.com*imagefiles*gorilla-silhouette.jpg/ http://transientmonkey.com/explanation-coming-soon http://pelotes.jea.com/footprn.htm http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2012/short-stories-thumbprint-portrait/ http://media.salon.com/2013/04/mark_zuckerberg3.jpg http://cdn.androidcentral.com/sites/androidcentral.com/files/postimages/9274/larrypage.jpg

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The Fight for the Future of Search