The answer to all unanswered questions: Just Google It. Almost as infectious as Nike’s Just Do It, saying “Just Google It” is the easy out for most queries. Don’t know how to get somewhere? Just Google it! When is next installment of Harry Potter coming out? Just Google it. How to kill your wife??!! You guessed it..Just f*%$^@ Google it.

Google’s surging popularity
Google has truly boomed in popularity over the last few years and is now considered the most popular search engine in the world. Google is a crawler based search engine. Google and other popular engines rely on “robots” to rank pages and link them to searches. This differs from human powered directories, which relies on the website owner to submit information about their site to the search engine. Google gathers information through Googlebot, indexes, and processes information found on the web. This makes the entire experience extremely user friendly and easy.

Survival of the fittest
Most people look to the 10 results of the first page of Google, and rely on those outcomes. As we’ve discussed in class, googling “art” listed the National Gallery of Art as one of the first links just a few years ago—now it’s on the second page. For websites, appearing on the first Google home page has become a competition, almost a survival of the fittest. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a way to ensure that search engines will find a website and list them in the search results. Linking, tagging & bookmarking, inbound links, submitting content to other sites, and mashups are all ways to prevent a static website.

The others just don’t stack up
Other search engines seem to pale in comparison, especially with Google as the forerunner with customizable home pages linked to e-mail, calendars, and pictures. Google is fast, easy to use, and thorough. Search engines seem to be popping up all over the place; however, and they all try emulate Google in one way or another.

The New Wave
Is there something out there that could trump Google? Google, which can be viewed as a traditional search, is always in Beta mode. This means it is constantly changing and improving. Search 2.0 includes the third generation of search engines like Swicki and Wink. These search engines use the power of Google and Yahoo!, but also incorporate “user preferences, collaboration, collective intelligence, a rich user experience”. I think it’s just a matter of time before Google attempts to use these same methods–chances are they are already working on it.

The Google brand
Google has become more than a search engine—it’s become a multi-billion dollar empire. Google Earth and Google’s purchase of YouTube are both examples of Google’s omnipresence on the web. With no sign of slowing down any time soon, Google continues to be the leading example of a search engine. Even with the Search 2.0 and third generation competitors creeping onto the web, Google’s perpetual Beta format will allow it to trump its competition.

With every trend sweeping the internet, Google maximizes its presence by participating in it somehow. Gmail and Gmail Chat have become instant phenomenons, and the Google Blog Search was created as a Technorati alternative. Latching on the Google name to almost anything will give it instant popularity.

So what’s next in the world of Google? Just Google It.