IS WolframAlpha A threat to Google?

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The new buzz word in the search engine world is the WolframAlpha, and as many before it, it is threatening to pass a death sentence to the mighty Google. They call it knowledge search engine with high capability of getting you specific answer to a given question. There is a catch though the question has to be known and in the database of the Wolframalpha. Well as far as I can see Google will not go that fast, when come to general search for what it is unknown Google is sure to continue ruling for the foreseeable future.

Wolfram Alpha is designed to answer complex search queries by returning a single result. So it depends specifically on its database to come up with an answer to the specific question. This is completely different from Google, which searches the entire web for the keywords contained within a search query and then returns many relevant web pages

In essence Wolframaplha gives an answer to a question rather than giving general explanations to a given topic. If the word you are looking for is not in the database then the outcome will always be that it is not sure of what to do with your input. I looked for Safaricom, and believe me or not as huge as Safaricom is in Kenya WolfromAlpha is not aware of it only suggesting that you try safari.

But i was thrilled with the outcome of the search for the word Kenya, as oppose to google which took me to many websites including the CIA website WolframAlpha laid everything there for me. Actually i did not know that Kenyan GDP is ranked 84th in the world. Take a look at what i got:

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When come to complex number-crunching, computation, calculations and formulas Wolframalpha is the king, and the following are the tips for successful search according to

  • Wolfram/Alpha answers specific questions rather than explaining general topics
  • You can only get answers about objective facts
  • Only what is known is known to Wolfram/Aplha
  • Only public information is available

My take is Google is still far ahead and well established but the reality is, it might need to watch its back .

What is your opinion on the topic?
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