Kevin Hale says, Google is successful because Google works on projects that are importantin a practical, bit more marketable and a bit more profitable way. The first part of Google’s mission statement states that they want to organize the world’s information. If you’ve got the right resources (and they do) and if you’ve got the right data (clean data, lots of data), it can tell you what’s important definitively. Not what should be important, not what will be important, what is important.
A cursory look at several of Google’s projects reveals a bit about how the company collects and repackages their knowledge of face-time :
• Google Zeitgeist - displays not only the most popular things the world is looking for, it seems to know whether it’s a place, an idea, or even if the people that are being searched have blonde hair (semantic processing anybody?)
• Google News - not just what events the press thinks is important, but by seeing who’s using Google News Alerts, they see what news people think is important
• Google Suggest - preemptively gives users the important things to search for
• Google Maps / Google Local - helps them know the important places
Currently, Google uses page rank technology and all the information they gather about their users to calculate what’s worthy of face-time. One of the variables that makes page rank so powerful, blogs, is weighted significantly in their calculations because who’s better at knowing what’s getting face-time than the faces themselves?
Google is essentially a library, check that mission statement out again). An RSS feed is a blog distilled to its core essence.It’s pure data. And so RSS feeds provide Google all the goodness of blogs without all the semantic garbage that might come with a system open to users that are not the content provider. RSS feeds provide Google clean data, good data and thanks to wide-spread adoption by companies and the major blog software entities, lots of it. In addition to improving their search results, another reason Google is embracing RSS is because they don’t want to have to compete with it.
Thanks to services like Del.icio.us, Technorati and Digg.com, people are spending a lot less time actively searching and more time passively reading what’s being updated in their readers. In the race to find what deserves face-time, services like Del.icio.us, Technorati and Digg.com in combination with the rapid adoption of web apps like bloglines, newsgator, feedster and kinja are making Google’s search seem very, very slow. And it’s all being accomplished with RSS technology.
Coverage of RSS technology are only getting at the tip of the iceberg and this is to Google’s advantage. RSS technology could see a lot of improvement in user interaction and adoption. In future, Google is going to allow users to subscribe to search results as RSS feeds, which is not too different from signing up for their email alerts. And they’re going to let us subscribe to them, either on our own readers or via their web based RSS reader, Personal Pages. RSS has a very promising future and Google is going to make sure they do everything in their power to be the ones to usher it in.