Since John Battelle is hyping it like the new slicebread and everybody is getting excited, let me throw a few links from my archives, just follow the trail:
- Creating a Personal Web Notebook (a post about Udi Manber’s work, dated 10/17/00)
- Amazon hires algorithm guru (11/08/02)
- Will Search Engines Learn from Our Fumbling? (02/24/04, about search personalization)
At the end of the day, I reiterate that Google and Amazon have more interest in, and are more likely to, ramp up their partnership than butt heads, and I believe A9 is a step in that direction. Yahoo, MSN and Ebay are strong enough that these two don’t need to invent themselves new enemies, when the reality is, their strengths are perfectly complimentary from both technical and business standpoints. Time will tell, and I’m ready to eat my words if I’m proved to be wrong, but I think Battelle has it exactly backwards when he claims this is a somehow a move from Amazon against Google. I expect them to move even closer to each other.
Update: evasive interview. Right now there’s not much to the site to justify the buzz (as opposed to Gmail), let’s see what else Amazon has up its sleeves. Remember Amazon already embedded Google results in its main site (though if I must believe my referer stats, that doesn’t drive much traffic).
Update: Rex Hammock: "Battelle’s whole Google vs. Amazon riff is a red herring […] Amazon’s amazing skills at such application of collaborative filtering in providing search results will be A9s’ true secret sauce."
I believe John Battelle lets its media background transpire by framing this as an umpteenth "clash of the titans", not unlike, say, 67.39% of CNet’s articles. Again, more hype than analysis, but from a PR perspective, as Jason points out, good mileage.
I certainly agree. I find it very much as a very good fit with each party doing what knows best. Amazon needed badly a good search engine due to their commercial nature of their operations, while Google is concentrating on an important market segment. And both focus on their core competence. To a certain extent I think that Google’s move is something similar to what Intel did by launching Celeron for competing against AMD on lower markets.