Specialized Search Engines Offer New Market Opportunities
John Blossom captures in a great article the essence of what is already happening with the emergence of very dedicated news channels and search tools.
"While major search engine indeed have changed the face of what's considered valuable content, search technology as a whole is empowering many more suppliers to bring the power of search to far more focused needs and interests in ways that highlight content that the majors leave behind."
There is no doubt that the major search engine (namely Google and Yahoo) provide tons of quality service to a great number of Internet users, but, there is as much if not more demand for more filtered, less broad, and more qualified search and news information services specialized in very well defined niche areas.
John Blossom points also to what he believes are some of the key trends and opportunities opening up in these new specialized content markets. Among others, he points to:
1) Special interest portals.
"Major players such as Yahoo! have been making inroads with localized content and special interest search portals that do an increasingly efficient job of mining the best of specific content niches. But many of these efforts lack editorial flair and content expertise that offer much of a real expert focus on the content subject matter."
But here he really captures in full the big whale so few have yet seen approaching:
"Combining leading-edge search technologies with real editorial insight from both professional and community-based experts that focus on the best of all Web sources for specific topics is likely to be a key component of highly profitable professional and consumer-oriented portals from some time to come that will counterbalance major Web search engines general strengths."
[Please re-read several times for full absorption and do meditate on it. Here is a respected and well-known analyst telling you what you have so easily dismissed as "automatic news aggregation".]
2) Reinventing the news.
"Google News and like-focused news search portals have demonstrated that search technology can put together online news in a journal-like fashion pretty effectively; what if the same concept was taken on by news teams specializing in far more specific geographic or topic areas of news content? Already institutions do this with their own internal competitive intelligence portals, bypassing established sites and services to collect their own definitive content from internal and external sources; could the next major news outlet be based on search technology that brings a particular focus and attitude to news that comes from a multitude of online editorial sources via search technologies? Perhaps tomorrow's front page in the local Web gazette will be a far more diverse collection of search-harvested content than most of today's paper-based papers can imagine."
And while Blossom points to the "strength of today's leading search engines" as the main reason for the emergence of this new fertie ground, I personally see the rapid growth of weblogs, RSS, personal publishing tools, and of the first group of newsmastering tools and services (see a few names below)the true vital components giving life to all this. The major search engines provide immense market space as they, at least for now, have decided to focus on general content search.
But what if it were the majors themselves to wake to these opportunities and provided the tools and services for the individual experts to leverage?
Too good to be true?
"... it will be content-oriented companies focusing in specific markets that are likely to succeed in this second wave of search and not pure technologists."
And yes, it is at the meeting point of many a new service like Feedpaper, PubSub, News2Web, Feedsweep, FeedBurner Link Splicer, Frassle, Urchin, Grouper, GoogleAlert (and many other ones) with the entrepreneurial and professionally qualified spirit of individual online content makers that this new, huge market is available to.
Stay tuned for some living examples.
Related product information
For more info about the tools that are starting to make the above possible please see the NewsMaster Toolkit.
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