Web usability guru, Jakob Nielsen, has written an article entitled Search Engines as Leeches on the Web which begins

Summary: Search engines extract too much of the Web's value, leaving too little for the websites that actually create the content. Liberation from search dependency is a strategic imperative for both websites and software vendors.

I worry that search engines are sucking out too much of the Web's value, acting as leeches on companies that create the very source materials the search engines index.We've known since AltaVista's launch in 1995 that search is one of the Web’s most important services. Users rely on search to find what they want among the teeming masses of pages. Recently, however, people have begun using search engines as answer engines to directly access what they want -- often without truly engaging with the websites that provide (and pay for) the services..

I've seen some people claim that "Google is Evil" is the new meme among web geeks and this looks like a manifestation of this trend. It looks like the more money Google makes, the more people resent them. Alas, that is the price of success.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006 4:38:21 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
Nielsen does not mention Google by name. His flawed arguments apply equally to Yahoo, Google and possibly MSN.

I don't think that Nielsen's post is part of the trend, but your post certainly is!
Tuesday, January 10, 2006 6:27:23 AM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
I very, very strongly disagree that being hated is just a necessary part of success. There are literally hundreds of very successful, very profitable companies that I do business with without hating them.

It's possible that it's an inevitable part of being a successful near-monopoly - that would certainly fit with Google and Microsoft, but I've dealt with a number of near-monopoly suppliers of specialty products who manage not to be hated, too.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006 5:45:17 PM (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
While I doubt it will impact Google anytime soon, I've noticed that Wikipedia has increasingly become the "answer engine" that I turn to, quite often, replacing Google for the kind of targeted questions that Neilsen seems to be referring to.
Arthur Davidson Ficke
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