I recently read a post on Forbes that claims that Apple’s voice interaction service Siri will have a huge negative impact on Google’s search business. This not only sounds absurd but sounds just plain ridiculous. Let us draw some quick comparisons.
First, Siri is only carried on the iPhone 4S which has so far sold less than ten million units. Even if we inflated that number to 20 million over the next six months, it would still not come even remotely close to the hundreds of millions of computers, phones, tablets and other devices that people use to access Google search with.
The next thing about Siri is that it relies on a very basic search function. It does not curate the results or try and determine which are most relevant. Siri is simply a very smart voice interactive technology. On the other hand, Google have been in the search business for over a decade and in that time they have been able to refine and fine-tune their search algorithms to deliver highly curated results that have a very high relevance to the user.
The third thing has to do with options. Google offers you up to ten different options on the first page of the search results while Siri only gives you the answer it thinks is the best. One of the reasons Google search has been very popular over the years is because it has retained the very human need to have options. It would have been easy for Google to provide only one response that they thought was the best but instead they give you hundreds of pages of results from which to choose from, all arranged in a hierarchical manner. Again Siri only tells you the one answer it thinks is the best.
Finally, Google derive their revenues from ads. Apple have made it clear that they did not develop Siri for ad purposes but rather to boost interactivity and make the iPhone 4S more popular and by so doing bolster sales. Even if Apple were to try selling ads through Siri, how in the world would they serve voice based ads and who would have the patience for them? Google have a very solid game plan when it comes to search and it is backed up by their extensive experience. Any ideas that Siri can even scratch the surface of Google’s search business is nothing more than some wild speculations.