Suffice to say, the internet is officially huge: 132+ million .com domains, more than 328+ million domains, and 14+ trillion web pages.
So, amidst this universe of data, it’s Friday night and you just want to try out a new restaurant to take your significant other. You will probably do a Google search and then, to be sure you found all of the potential results, you might also perform another search on Bing or Yahoo. These search engines do not give you the full range of reviews, so you might check out Urbanspoon and Yelp. If you are a bargain hunter, you will then probably head over to Livingsocial or Groupon for any pertinent deals.
Chances are, by now, you probably suffer from “internet fatigue”—simply exhaustion from using the internet. Why, after decades of technological improvements, does it still take so long to find what we are looking for?
Much of the blame lies in segmentation, whereby startup companies continue to divide broad target markets into subsets of consumers. My search hypothetical highlights market segmentation. On the one hand, segmentation is a positive phenomenon; it provides consumers with more choices and choices which are increasingly tailored to the consumer. On the other hand, segmentation has and continues to clutter the internet with choice overload, hence leading to internet fatigue.
A potential solution to internet fatigue lies in content aggregation. Content aggregation is not a new phenomenon; however, for every success, there are countless failures. The most successful content aggregators have successfully balanced the competing concerns of delivering a broad spectrum of data while at the same time preserving a quality user experience.
Content aggregation has found success in:
- News: with services such as Feedly, Fark, and Digg;
- Travel: with services such as Trivago and Kayak; and
- Local Search: with services such as Bliips.
Look for content aggregation to continue making inroads as a means of shifting the search paradigm.