Europe has stood up to be counted in the world of search. In a first in my memory, France’s president, Jacque Chirac, is providing funding to develop a Eurocentric search engine.
Disappointed with the current Anglo-American bias of most popular search engines, the French leader has placed his own country’s money on the line to cultivate a search engine that better represents the European culture and challenges the existing threat of American based search engines such as Google & Yahoo!. After all – the internet is truly an international arena, and therefore, search engines should exist to represent all nations and cultures.
Rumour has it, that Quaero, the new name, wont be a search engine built from scratch but rather, a union of existing German-French technology to create a “multimedia search engine for the internet”. The funding is to be in the form of forgivable loans to the French group Thompson and Deutsche Telekom.
Don’t expect Google to lie down, as the rest of the world tries to level the playing field. Almost immediately after Chirac’s announcement, Google went out actively seeking non-English contributions for its search engine, through the new Google Print book scanning service. Here’s hoping – a little healthy competition is a good thing for search as a whole – Viva La Search!!