This betrays a very basic misunderstaning about how Google got where it is, and how it stays there.
Yes, pagerank is a great idea, and it was perhaps an improvement over what was being done before. But that wasn't why people abandoned the likes of Lycos and Yahoo(!) for Google back in the late 90's. Back then all the other search engines had gone to practices that were quite frankly user-abusive. Adds were placed all over the place, including an indeterminate amount of the top hits on your search. The search screens themselves also existed mostly to pump ads at you, and were really clunky, with a large amount of confusing options right there on the main search page.
Google, by contrast, had a main search page with no options whatsoever. Just a text box and a couple of buttons. "Breath of fresh air" doesn't even begin to describe how wonderful to use this was compared to what we were used to. On top of that, the search results were clearly delineated from the ads, so you could trust the results. The "don't be evil" motto was obviously infused into the whole effort. Every competitor was just a giagantic pain to use by comparison. "Page rank" or whatever wifty algorithim used for all this was something that nobody but extreme techies (and marketers) really ever gave a crap about.
So if you've got something that you think competes with Google, you'd better be talking about how nice and clean the interface is by comparison, how much easier it is to find real results without having to wade around ads, and how trustworthy the provider is wrt not allowing marketing weasels to buy their way into my search results. If you aren't talking about any of that, frankly nobody gives a crap.
I don't think "the next BIG search thing" needs to do better at interface design and marketing control. Instead, they need to match Google there and provide something novel of which we not thought.