What would 'online search' do?

This article on Google Music caught my attention. So, if you are another online search service, how do you compete with Google? How do you entice folks to use your search engine over Google? Google gives me great search results (well, within reason) & I like other Google products (Gmail, Blogger etc.). So, why would I use a Bing, Yahoo, Ask, Cuil or anything else?

This seems to be so much more of a marketing problem than a technology or product problem. Let's look at another similar situation - Before Starbucks came along, maybe Dunkin Donuts or McD were the market leader for Coffee. What did Starbucks do? Ditto with Dell/HP vs. Apple. By fragmenting the market & targeting specific segments - typically the underserved ones, these companies have redefined their product positioning & often have created completely new markets.

Let's try that idea with Google. Does Google search work really well for everyone (as in insanely amazingly well) - or does it just work good enough? What if there were search engines targeted to different user groups - When kids search for "Mario" are they really looking for "Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas".

Similarily, when a caregiver is looking for information on diabetes vs. a student researcher vs. a pharmacist, are they interested in the same set of information. Today, every user either sifts through the tonne of results that they get - less likely, or we keep on refining our query to a more specific term. What if I don't know the term - which is especially true for technical trades - programming is one of them. Try finding information on "parameterized URL" without using that term.

I guess there is probably an opportunity for online search engines to focus more sharply on under served user segments - and google music is probably a step in that direction. It will be interesting to see what others will do. Interesting times, I guess.