The development of search engines in the PC Internet era is still applicable to the understanding of WeChat search.
In 1994, Lycos launched a search engine based on manual classification. Users can search web pages according to their content needs by entering keywords. Before that, users needed to enter URLs to enter web pages. Yahoo is the representative in this regard.
In 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new search method, a search engine technology that automatically retrieves web pages according to keywords, achieving a higher user-end query efficiency.
Interestingly, in 1997, the two tried to sell the technology to Yahoo for $1 million. After being rejected, they incorporated Google in 1998 (similar to the history of Ma Huateng trying to sell QQ).
In the same year, Google developed the PageRank link analysis technology, which greatly improved the search quality. Google quickly overtook Yahoo and became the preferred tool for online browsing and searching.
Because search engines naturally need to face the challenges of massive websites, web pages, links, texts and other massive information, they are the technology hotbed of the previous generation of Internet, hypertext retrieval, personalized search, knowledge graph, cloud storage and cloud computing, and even artificial intelligence. The development of such technologies has been promoted by the advancement of search technology.
For users, the basic goal of search engine technology is "more complete, faster, and more accurate", which is why search engines are the traffic portals of the Internet. On this basis, technologies and commercial forms such as search advertising, search engine optimization (SOE), and search engine marketing (SEM) were born.
The aforementioned search engines are based on a large number of websites. Today’s situation is that websites provide content for search engines, and the pattern that search engines provide displays for websites has long been loosened. The challenge for many network service providers is, should the website still be done?
This is the most typical of media content. After the portal era, the media in the mobile Internet first proposed "two micro and one end", and then "two micro and one shake", of which "end" is behind the demise of independent apps, the reaction is actually The question of the survival of the "official website".
Just think about it, as a user, how much time and consumption do you have on the company's official website (non-media, socialized company's official website)?
In this year's WeChat public class, Zhang Xiaolong said this:
When making an official account, we hope that the official account is the official website of an organization such as an enterprise;
When making a small program, we hope that the small program is the official website;
Now, we want the video account to be the official website of each institution.
That is to say, WeChat builds a set of "WeChat-based official website" through official accounts, mini programs, and video accounts.
Therefore, from the perspective of content sources and portals, the relationship between WeChat search and the enterprise ecosystem in WeChat is very similar to the relationship between traditional search engines and websites. The difference is that WeChat is both the source and destination of traffic.
Taobao has built its own search within Taobao after blocking the search engine; Byte has promoted its search business in Toutiao and Douyin; and WeChat has gradually strengthened its platform search capabilities after enriching its content and services.
This competitive landscape will only deepen further.
2. "WeChat Official Website"
To a certain extent, the development of Chinese and foreign mobile Internet has forked here:
Domestic WeChat, Douyin, and Kuaishou are all building their own business cycles, accelerating the integration of "content + e-commerce + social networking";
However, foreign social media experts such as YouTube bloggers have long linked links to their own or customers' official websites, and transactions occur outside the platform.
At present, companies including Facebook, Google, Amazon and others have begun to follow the Chinese Internet to adjust their strategies in this regard. In particular, under the impact of TikTok on American social media, the integration of foreign "content + e-commerce + social networking" has also begun to accelerate, but Basic work such as changes in consumption habits and business exploration is still a long-term process.
For enterprises, the existence of the official website is actually more of a form of customer management. The "demise" of the PC official website is not because the enterprise is unwilling to do it, but the occurrence of more customer relationships and customer services including visits, transactions, etc. More and more relying on the big Internet platform, rather than one after another independent official website.
The gap is compared. When users can obtain faster, richer and more accurate services through mobile phones and super apps, the experience that general search engines can bring to individual users will naturally continue to decline.
Zhang Xiaolong said that WeChat encourages third parties to organize their customers in a decentralized manner. But he also mentioned that traditional websites cannot push messages to users, so they will not harass users. In the era of mobile Internet, most country email list companies lack an effective carrier to turn their services online.
"It's not even as convenient as the PC Internet era." Therefore, public accounts, mini programs, and video accounts, as "WeChat-based official websites", point to an open, decentralized and more convenient "service online" "WeChat solution".
Since the official account, WeChat's system has also played the role of a "message pusher", and it is inevitable that corporate push messages will disturb users. WeChat is trying to find a new balance between providing service connection capabilities and user experience for enterprises.