My out-of-the-box idea for this week

Stephen Abram offers an interesting post today about the Search Engine Market Shares.

Here's an interesting Press Release from comScore this month. It's just about search and not about the overall popularity of a web property. For instance, I am told that Yahoo! gets 2.5 times the traffic of Google overall, for instance. It does show the power of brand to drive traffic. Is the library brand strong enough and in the right head space? The OCLC Perceptions report would seem to say no. I also wonder whether libraries should be building toolbar searches for our sites. They are an important battleground for searching market share. The emergence of MySpace as a search portal is interesting too...

All I can say is that I don't believe the search landscape is stable or static for the next 5 years. This is an opportunity for libraries to shine.

I completely agree with Stephen on this front, especially the last sentence -- the landscape is changing rapidly and there are opportunities here!!! And with recent announcements by all three industry leaders ( see announcements -- Yahoo, Google & Microsoft) on the development of social searching tools, libraries may have even more ...

So here's my out-of-the box idea for the week (and what radical idea I might be pondering if I were Leslie Burger ready to assume the president's roll - although I'm sure she has plenty of her own) ... Why doesn't ALA back an initiative to partner with Google on their new Co-Op search tool? Instead of trying to fight the giant, why don't we ally with it to make its product more useful to both us and our users?

Personally, I'm pleased to see the National Library of Medicine on board as a partner with the health stuff already, but I have to be honest... the listing of current information partners has me a bit worried. So how about it ALA -- is partnering with Google (or any other of the internet search leaders) out of the question?

Collectively I think libraries could not only shine through this type of partnership, but it would surly help to create a new and difference type of library market brand. Just think about it ...

What are your thoughts? Am I crazy for suggesting such?

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