Google vs. Wolfram|Alpha

Just lately has been quite a bit of press on the new project from Wolfram, and the media hinted to the “Google Killer” which in my opinion is a bit misleading as this is not a competitor on searching, but a competitor in quality of information and a research tool. So where are these two huge projects going? In my opinion a small answer is not possible, you have to understand a bit what Google and Wolfram do and where they come from but more importantly where the new Alpha tool lives today.

In my opinion Google has overgrown itself to become way too big and the proof is the number of seemingly weird projects, the strange PR gimmicks like Street view which let’s face it, brings little value to anyone, yet seems their shares are holding well. Furthermore, search is not really their business anymore, it is advertising, which in fact is directly related to their search qualities. Needless to say Google was the best, or still is may be, but the fact is that if you use it now the amount of data that is totally irrelevant (noise) is tremendous, the volume is so huge that Google itself polarizes the market and of course the whole concept of value of information is not even considered other than via page rank.

So the answer is unstructured versus structured data, extrapolating popularity and other data coming from their advertising model to bring value versus information that indeed has value by itself, needless to say when combined is hugely more popular.

So in my opinion Wolfram|Alpha seems to me the best thing that could happen to researchers, students and probably 80% of the population, a blend between wikipedia and Google but on steroids as only Mr. Wolfram could do. No matter how far we can take this project and I sincerely think it deserves help from governments and us, in itself is the first glimpse to the demise of Google as super-search-engine-that-knows-it-all to a mere directory of popularity and collector of internet history.

Just for the fun of it try to type this in Wolfram|Alpha and Google


Now go to Google’s image tab and you will see what I mean. Now try this other one.

spain gdp versus uk

And the only information that has any value is Wikipedia, another structured data project.

Welcome to the start of the new era of quality of data.

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