3 Steps To Cracking Google’s Search Domination

I am sitting down today with Curt Dalton, the founder of the new search engine NowRelevant.com and the trends and niche finding software at The Internet Time Machine. Both projects are about a year old and I wanted to catch up with Curt to see how the projects are going.

JC: Hi Curt, thanks for the time today.

CD: Hi John, always a pleasure to talk to you.

JC: So after a year with the Internet Time Machine and launching NowRelevant.com, how is it going?

CD: We are doing great! The Internet Time Machine project has been very popular with Internet marketers and bloggers. It has allowed users to find new trends and niches to make money in, whether it be developing products, ppc, or even Google Adsense. NowRelevant.com is growing very quickly. We just completed our 2nd server upgrade, which is always a nightmare, to handle the traffic and new ad network we are building out. We hope to be showing 5 million impression the network by the end of Q1 this year, and double it every 90 days after that…lots of $0.03 clicks still out there! (laughing)

JC: Most people would be really intimidated to start a new search engine and go against the likes of Google, Bing, and Yahoo. So many have failed trying to do it, what gave you the idea that you could be successful.

CD: I actually get that question a lot, and it usually ends with the word “idiot” so thanks for not adding that in…

JC: You’re welcome.

CD: First, we figured out a three step plan that almost any search engine could gain market share on with Google. Second, I think those other companies made a fatal area and tried to “BE” Google, or beat Google at their own game. Google is very good at being Google, and you never want to try and do the same thing they do. You need to look at their complaint department and see what people DON’T like about Google, start there.

For example, NowRelevant.com shows you everything about a subject, but only for the last 14 days. We do this because a major complaint about Google is showing you 44,000,000 results for your search query in 0.02 seconds. According to web stats, 99.99% of web users will never go past page 3 of a search result query, so why show 44,000,000 results? How much does it cost Google a year to show you those results and to bring them all up in $0.02? It must be worth it or they wouldn’t be doing it, they do test like crazy over there…

We saw an opportunity not only to give more of a “heart beat of the Internet” search results by doing more blog, forum, and social media based results that Google’s standard “wiki, amazon, shopping links, site URL format on page #1, but also to give a time based results set. So every day we drop day #14 from our results and get the current day as #1.

JC: Sounds interesting, so tell me the 3 steps to cracking Google’s dominance?

Curt: Step 1 – Attack the theory that the algorithm can solve everything. Yes, you do need an algorithm to weed out spam and low quality sights, but you can also allow users to submit sites to your engine. Allow actual people to build the search engine they want, based on human input and actual submissions. At NowReleavnt.com we have a site submit feature that allows anyone to submit their site or RSS feed to us, and then we run it through our algorithm to make sure it is a quality site. It is similar to Yahoo submission directory, but you also use code to weed out the spammer and SEO dummy sites. This allows users who update their sites regularly and have real sites, to get free traffic from us. Plus, psycologically, it gives the person a sense of “ownership” and “belonging”. They actually submitted their site as a human being and didn’t get indexed by a bot. In a sense, as marketers talk about the reciprocity theory, they actually feel they “owe” use for the free traffic. I don’t mean owe us money, but they send out the site to friends and give us a “like” on Facebook.

JC: Interesting….

CD: Step 2 – One of the major complaints with Google is SPAM and SEO dummy sites from content factories getting listed in their top 2 pages. This relates to the whole content factory issue that Google si fighting now and actually changing their whole search algorithm to combat. Basically, in a nutshell, content factories say “since it is so hard to rank on page #1 for something in Google, we will just flood your crawlers with 5,000 entries on “canoe paddling” and some of those will get through the wall and place on the first page”. It is a sheer brute force method to overwhelm the Google selection system. Since the Internet Time Machine has to filter out those types of sites to get true results on the niche and trend side, we just apply that same 13 step algorithm to NowRelevant.com and automatically remove SPAM and DUMMY sites from our results.

JC: Step 3?

CD: Social media. Social media is a big weakness for Google. Their rivalry with Facebook is destroying them slowly. They failed miserably in social media at all attempts and the biggest fear they have right now is that Facebook launches its own search engine. If this happens, and it is good, Google is in big, big, trouble. Their search will be destroyed, so the Android system will have to save them. Think about this…why do you go to Google? You go to search for stuff. Once you are done searching and have an answer, what do you do? You go back to Facebook and hang out there for a few hours. Now, what is Facebook, lets say with Bing, ooops, they already did that…teams up and designs a search based on an decent algorithm, which Bing has, and based on “Likes”? Bingo! They are already doing Step #1 from above, the same step NowRelevant.com. Use technology to index and weed out poor quality sites, but allow human interaction, in this case “likes”, influence results. It is brilliant! If there was a high quality search engine, IN FACEBOOK, that you could just click over to, do a search, get results, and stay in Facebook, Google is done. They know it, Facebook knows it, and Bing knows it too, hence the partnership.

NowRelevant.com has used a completely grassroots social media campaign to build out search volume. When you allow people to use it and like it and send it out to people, they take ownership of it. It becomes “their” search engine, since they found it or discovered it.

We love using social media like Facebook and Twitter for our updates and to run promotions like giving away Amazon gift cards with our widget download and offering an affiliate program to all advertisers to make money on people they refer to our ad network. No other search engine does that. Image if Google stepped up and had an affiliate program on PPC accounts and you got 20% of whatever people you sent deposited in the PPC program….forever. We do that.

JC: Wow, that is cool. So to wrap it up, if you want to take a crack at Google, you need to not try and be Google or beat Google and being Google to start, right?

CD: Yes. Find a niche that Google is too big to service and fill that void.

JC: Then you need to allow human interaction, like your site submission and Facebook’s LIKE function, into your model.

CD: Yes, the algorithm is all mighty, but it can’t get smart enough to do EVERYTHING.

JC: Remove spam and dummy sites is next?

CD: Yes, this is the battle Google is in with content factories, especially from China, right now.

JC: Use social media is step 3?

CD: Yes, it is a major weakness of Google, so hence, it has to be a strength of yours.

JC: And offering an affiliate program to bloggers and marketers doesn’t hurt either?

CD: Good point..make that step #4! (laughing)

JC: That is great stuff, thanks for your time and I hope to see great things for NowRelevant.com and The Internet Time Machine in 2011.

CD: Thanks John!


54 thoughts on “3 Steps To Cracking Google’s Search Domination”

  1. Dukeo says:

    Very interesting post!
    Going to check NowRelevant.com right now.
    Thanks for sharing John.

    1. ikki says:

      im agree with you

      1. This one will be a great step … and would love to see the impact of it.

        JC: Remove spam and dummy sites is next?

        CD: Yes, this is the battle Google is in with content factories, especially from China, right now.

        If they will implement it than we will see quality websites for long tail keywords as well.

        1. @ZK, if Google has gone hard on content farm kind of web spam, then why is Demand Media still doing so well? This business has been churning out countless of articles every day … just to get ranked for long tail keywords. So why is it still raking all the big bucks and getting all the Google’s link love?

          1. dotCOMreport says:

            According to Demand Media, they are NOT a content farm. Many will beg to disagree though and I’m guessing Jack, that you’re on of them.

          2. @dotCOMreport, hahah Demand Media can say all they want man! A crook doesn’t call himself a crook anyway.

        2. It is interesting that spam and dummy sites are under the same category, I think it takes a different approach to work with each. Personally, I think dummy sites are much more difficult to filter out.

    2. @Dukeo, is there anything wrong with NowRelevant.com. It doesn’t load on my Google Chrome browser. Something wrong with that site?

      1. Hey John

        Interesting interview. Curt surely is up against the big guys. All the best to him but I don’t believe that he can make any significant dent in Google’s business.

        It’s good that he’s trying though.

    3. d3so says:

      Looks like ive missed out on a lot. Definitely going to check it out.

  2. Hotdogman says:

    Cool. Just finished submitting a bunch of my sites. The search was running a bit slow-hope that server upgrade helps.

    1. Some of my sites are already in NowRelevant

      1. I checked for few keywords and I do not like the outcome.

        Like they are showing same website on 1st page and same website (same subdomain) in second page as well.

        1. @ZK, kind of weird when Google should be going down hard on web spam. Hate it whenever I search for something and all I see is web spam. They just spoil my day.

    2. I have added all my sites to NowRelevant also.

      It looks promising to me

  3. Alex Neill says:

    Sounds great I would certainly use such a search engine, anyway Google have been top too long, it’s about time they had some decent competition.

    I didnt know fb had teamed up with bing, see you learn something new everyday.

    Very interesting interview thanks for sharing it John, Alex

    1. Are you serious that FB has teamed up with Bing? Where did you read it? Can provide me the link to the actual news source?

      1. Use the facebook search and you will see.

        You will see search results from Bing at the bottom of the page.

        And thats how Bing’s Volume is increasing

  4. Thomas says:

    What a great question and answer post. Now I understand NowRelevant.com a lot better. I really “like” the info Curt Dalton puts out and how he reacts with people on Facebook. He is a winner. Way to show us a great piece of work, John!

    1. Yes this will be a great test for them when they will expand more.

      Though if he will be stick to the basic than I am sure in coming months this one will be our second search engine.

  5. James says:

    Great post John.

    Very Informative as usual.

    Keep churning the great content.

    All the best
    James

    1. @James, totally agree with you. I didn’t know there are other search engines around other than Google, Bing and Yahoo.

  6. I agree, if Facebook starts to have search functionalities, then they certainly would give Google a run for their money.

    1. PPC Ian says:

      Yeah, I agree. It will be really interesting to see if FB introduces search. People are spending so much time on FB. I think a search functionality is a no-brainer. Even if they just partner with someone like Google, they could be making more money!

      1. @Ian, it is just a matter of time that FB introduces a search function. Mark gotta monetizes his FB community somehow … we are talking about zillion of dollars there!

        1. Clay Burt says:

          Yes, but they will have a very different look and feel than what you might expect from Google if they are smart… You don’t want to distract people and have them leave FB…

  7. ikki says:

    nice post, great information

    1. Hi Ikki,
      So you are at it again in spite of John’s warning. This comment of yours is a perfect example of spam. “Nice post, great information” is a classic brainless spam comment that will fit into any post.

      You are pathetic and John is too patient with you.

  8. It says Beta, that’s because it runs pretty s-l-o-w at times, like right at the time of my comment.

  9. Hi John this is really interesting interview! thanks that you want to share with us!

    1. PPC Ian says:

      I agree. I’m a huge fan of interviews. Thanks for sharing, John. Looking forward to more interviews in the future.

      1. Hey PPc Ian,

        I like interviews too and video interviews especially. It would be good if John did this on video but any form of good interview is appreciated.

  10. It’s good how this interviews points out that Google sees Facebook as a formidable rival. The same goes for social media like Twitter. These two entities are more engaging and personal than Google, hence the competition.

    1. I think it is only time that Facebook will be the next big boy in the WWW.

  11. hello says:

    sure that google show the same result but those websites 1st on the google search deserve it but i tried this nowrelevant.com their search results are like very poor

    1. @hello, give the website some time to mature. We can’t expect greatness overnight.

  12. Neon SRT4 says:

    Excellent Post John. Your Discussion is very brave for newbies.

  13. Fairooz says:

    Nice post John!

    Just submitted my site there! 🙂

    1. @Fairooz, how come I can’t load that website? Which broswer did you use?

  14. Dan Lew says:

    It seems they have an affiliate program, what is the payout and how are the sales generated?

  15. Dan Lew says:

    How does the algorithm work, what is the patent based on?

  16. fas says:

    I dont see Facebook taking over Google any time soon in terms of search because Facebook is slow and Google is not.

    1. @fas, feedback to Facebook today and you will see changes being made in the near future!

  17. Excellent post John.

    Really enjoyed reading it

    Thanks

  18. A couple of things stand out here as very interesting: First, why would you display several hundred pages if most people never go past page 3 in search results. Second, I’m intrigued with the idea of Facebook developing it’s own search engine, that could signal a changing of the guard.

  19. Something real interesting from me too … I never have the time and energy to scroll past th first page!

    1. nick says:

      haha didnt have the energy to scroll. Better grab a red bull.

    2. @nick, ok i gotta admit: I AM LAZY! hahahahha!

  20. hmmm says:

    john knows money only

    1. @hmmm, ok what are you trying to mean here?

      1. Neon SRT4 says:

        He is saying, that John may be looking for money only. But that is False. John is Providing Excellent Information here.

  21. Good Conversation Man. The Tips are Excellent.

  22. anitha says:

    Great conversation would like to share something about it

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