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A new search engine, Blekko, launched last week. Others have come and gone (Cuil, Ask.com, etc.). Yahoo and Microsoft have combined their search efforts. But Google's market share in most of the world is still at least double anyone else's, depending on which stats you use. Our "Discussion of the Week" asks this: When, if ever, will another search engine beat Google? Some related questions: What will have to happen for Google to lose its spot as the world's dominant search engine? Do you expect that to happen in your lifetime? The floor is open!
Comments11 Comments  

Comments

Avatar Administrator
from MattMcGee 1413 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Guess I'll go first again. :-)

I'm tempted to say that Google's insatiable hunger for ownership of information -- especially my personal information -- will be its downfall. I'm tempted to say that, eventually, people are going to see Google in their living rooms, their cars, their computers, EVERYWHERE, and say "enough is enough." I'm tempted to say that Bing will continue to innovate (have you checked out its awesome Map Apps?) and people will eventually open their eyes and switch in larger numbers. But I think Google is the comfortable choice for too many people who don't see any reason to change, despite privacy concerns and all that other stuff.

More likely, I think Google's dominance will end someday in the future when something I can't even imagine comes along and the entire online experience changes and we no longer need a search engine to find stuff. (Although, hmmmm. I guess that whole "artifical intelligence" idea is something that's already very high on Google's To Do list, so .... yeah.)



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1413 Days ago #
Votes: 0

My feeling is that Google is so entrenched in popular culture right now that it would take many years for that to change. And if it does, it will likely be of their own doing.

With all the recent changes they've been making, e.g., the new local results, instant search, instant preview, I think they could be shooting themselves in the foot as the search results are getting more cluttered. Can you say Alta Vista?

I also get the feeling that they'll be sticking more and more paid for stuff within what used to be the organic listings, which could also harm them.

We definitely need a better alternative, however, for inertia not to take over.



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from FlyingPointMedia 1413 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Matt - agreed that Bing is doing exciting things and should continue that trajectory. I'm not so sure Google will see widespread backlash on the whole personal info and privacy thing so long as the user experience is good or gets better. Seems like most people don't scrutinize too closely so long as their immediate needs are being well satisfied. And isn't that what Google's search product is about? Instant gratification?

My thought is the first company to solve the problems that still persist in search and on the web (spam, disambiguation, search intent, info overload, etc) will start to take down the mighty Google. And this need not necessarily be the work of a search engine.



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from FlyingPointMedia 1413 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Jill - I'm also VERY put off by Google's push to monetize as much of Pg1 as possible. As a user, not just as a webmaster or marketer. Also agreed on the clutter issue (i call it info overload - tomatoe, tomahtoe). I would also say if it took Nokia no time at all to lose their spot at the top due (mostly) to arrogance and neglect of market trends, I'm not convinced Google is immune to the quick downfall.



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from rpickard 1413 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Given that Yahoo spent over $2 billion on acquiring or developing search engine technology (http://www.brokerdynamix.com/blog/?p=163) and IAC (Ask parent company) has over a billion dollars in cash on their balance sheet, and Google drove both of these companies out of the business of indexing the web in the US, what companies other than Microsoft (and maybe Baidu someday) could possibly compete with Google?



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from daveforeman 1413 Days ago #
Votes: -1

Facebook is obviously gunning for Google.  Read the Wired article here:  http://www.wired.com/techbiz/it/magazine/17-07/ff_facebookwall

Then ask yourself what makes a better SERP page, one that is ranked by human engagement via FB "likes" or one that is ranked by backlinking.  Are backlinks really the best way to gauge relevance? Or was is just a way that worked for the Internet's childhood.  The Internet is all grown up now and we humans no longer need a robot to tell us what is a relevent site.  Seriously, does anyone think that these linking games that SEO's play all day long with Google will last another 5 years?  FB is gunning for the whole enchilata, they are going to take down Google harder than Google took down Yahoo. Look at the open graph protocal, connect the dots.  Google's days as a monopoly are numbered.  Google needs to get some kind of system going that ranks pages based on human inputs -- how hard can this be?  I really don't get why they are so obsessed with backlinks. If Google does find a way to rely less on linking and more on human mesurements of time on site, "likes", ratings or even some form of human editing of its index like Wikipedia then FB will have a tough time brining them down. The Google Algo worked better than anything else when it took the web by storm in 2002.  I find it hard to believe that linking will remain the gold standard for relevancy in an age when humans are more than willing to hit a "Like" button to attest to the quality of a site.

When I look at a Google search results page and see half of the sites ranking on the first page are obviously gamed to that position with all kinds of link spam I have to ask myself how much longer with this half baked system last.  Facebook "like" spam will be pretty easy to spot when FB has detailed information about the validity of a profile and their interests, occupation, employer, age, location, wall content and friends.



Avatar Moderator
from Realicity 1413 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@rpickard might have provided the best clue to the who/what portion of this question.  China has such a large population that a CN-Government approved SE might gain a large enough (financial) stake to be competative and innovate enough to rival Google.



Avatar Moderator
from Jill 1413 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@daveforeman, sure hope your right about linking!

But the alternative will just mean that social media and voting/like buttons will just be gamed more than they already are.

For anything that might help with SEO, there's always an SEO type to spam it.

Which means that for Google (or any search engine) to stay on top, they're going to have to do a much better job of fighting spam than they currently are doing.



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from ogletree 1413 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Only way Google is going to fall is if the government steps in and breaks them up.  There is no new start up that will even beat 2% or 3% market share ever.  Right now it is the big 3 Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  Google has brand loyalty like Coke.  Even when Coke screwed up and made New Coke they still did not lose that much market share.  Of course I’m only talking in the US market since that is the only one that I know.

I have been saying this for years.  Even when Dave Naylor was telling me how MS was going to blow Google away a few years ago.  Once a company name becomes part of the English language they can't lose.

I'm sure everybody will give examples like buggy whip companies or IBM which are valid but those were when there was a paradigm shift in the way the world works.  I'm just saying under the current way computers work and the current way we use computers there is not going to be a company to overtake Google in search.  The other examples might be how Google overtook other companies to get to the top.  That is an invalid argument because there was not a top company at the time.  Being number one in the 90’s meant nothing because only a very tiny percentage of the US even owned a computer and even a smaller group had internet access.  We are at a very high saturation rate now.  There is not a day that goes by where I don’t see a reference to Google a verb on top TV shows during the day and at prime time.

Anybody who has ever run a website knows that the number one keyword in analytics is always your company name and URL.  People don’t understand that Google is more of an address bar company than a search company.  Anybody can design a search engine that returns that information correct 100% of the time.  Google could start to return complete crap for 50% of their searches and most people would not even notice.  Very few people use Google in an advanced way.  Just like MS. Microsoft spends a ton of money working on advanced features on their software that hardly anybody uses.  The general public is not advanced when it comes to computers.



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from markn 1411 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Google is doing a great job so far, but no one reigns king forever.

It might be that the web takes a completely different direction that Google never saw coming due to a leap in technology or innovation by another company, and suddenly everyone is online via HUD and mobile, iris/rfid/wifi implants, or something else, leaving them unprepared and behind the curve.



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from CJ 1408 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Remember when Webcrawler was the defacto search engine...and when AOL was invincible?  If there's one fact that can't be disputed it is this: kingdoms ALWAYS crumble.  Name one exception.  The current Google empire will fall, and I believe it will be a direct result of privacy issues.  Nobody, certainly not a commercial entity, should have access to the depth of information about individuals that they do.  It is not a coincidence that all of their 'free' offerings involve gathering information about you: email, site analytics, office documents, rss newsreader, YouTube, etc.   And when you aren't on a G property?  That's where the Google Toolbar and the pervasive presence of Google Analytics on websites kicks in. Every site using that service is a secret agent by proxy, reporting back to G.  Nothing they do is an accident.

So how do you draw the line between privacy and asking G to give you information tailored just for you based on how well they know you?  Good luck with that riddle, Grasshoppa.

I use Gmail, Google Apps, Analytics and others apps offered by Big G but you and I do it fully aware of what we're giving them for payment.  Most people don't.



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