No doubt some of you have heard of Wolfram Alpha, a new search engine set to launch this month. Word on the internet is that it could be a real Google killer – initial demos show that it offers a much more structured and relevant search on some search results. What’s more, the creator of Wolfram Alpha (Stephen Wolfram) has an impeccable resume – creator of groundbreaking software (Mathematica), Ph.D. in particle physics by age 20, etc. Obviously, Wolfram’s a pretty smart dude, but can he kill a search engine whose very name has become synonymous with search? And more importantly for us, will we need to start learning how to do Wolfram Alpha PPC when he decides to monetize it?
While I think that Wolfram Alpha is a pretty cool tool as advertised, I remain skeptical about its ability to displace Google as King Search. Anyone remember Cuil? The constant, fawning buzz that promised that it would deliver us from Google’s monopolistic grasp? Let me ask you this – when was the last time you did a Cuil search?
Despite Wolfram Alpha’s pedigree, I don’t think it will be taking any ad customers from Google any time soon. First, it seems like Wolfram Alpha is geared more toward the academic set. Not a very juicy demographic for advertisers. Do a couple of searches at Google Scholar and see if any ads pop up. Second, Wolfram Alpha isn’t as automated as Google is – Wolfram himself admits that he’ll need a team of at least a thousand people to curate the information that goes into his search engine. That seems to me like a system ripe for collapse, especially considering all the buzz that’s being built up pre-launch. I’m betting that we see a monumental crash on launch day, and intermittent service until interest cools.
Bottom line, Google is not a perfect system. But it’s the best system we have for online advertising for now. Wolfram is focusing on providing better search results, not serving relevant ads to consumers. I wouldn’t let your AdWords Certification expire anytime soon if I were you.
If you want more info on Wolfram Alpha, I suggest you check out this article here.