Now, I don’t know about you, but most of the time, I can find what I need when I search for things on Google. I don’t need my hand held by sites like Mahalo.com, whose editors purport to know better than me what I’m looking for. And I don’t particularly care whether I get a “universal” search result (replete with links to video, reviews and graphics in addition to text), though I can see why it’s nice.
On the other hand, I’m intrigued by the emergence of GoGoQuick.com, a site adds a new feature to searching–the ability to donate to charity as you search. For every click on the site’s paid search ads, GoGoQuick plans to donate 50 percent of that revenue to charity. Interestingly, it’s not the first to offer such a feature; according to DM News, there’s also GoodSearch.com, MagicTaxi.com and the UK’s Everyclick.com, which also donate half of their revenues to charity (though these, unlike GoGoQuick, power their searches with external engines like Yahoo and Ask.com).
So, what’s next? During this year’s election season, wouldn’t it make sense to create a political content-oriented search site that donted proceeds to the site’s political cause of choice? What about a search engine which allowed users to build up credits to spend with local businesses who buy the engine’s paid search services? Maybe an engine which did in-depth, carefully-filtered searches solely among social media channels would work. These are just a few off-the-cuff ideas; I’m sure much better ones are being floated with venture capitalists as I write.
The bottom line is that search, as a plain vanilla service, is getting (for lack of a better word), uh, boring. Users are sick of doing so much scanning and clicking to get so little reward, and finding so little that truly engages them. Given the market’s search fatigue, next-generation search models are bound to explode in the next year or so.