Is There a Possible Alternative to Google?
Based on the latest data, in May 2010 Google holds 85% of the global market. Yahoo is around 6% while Bing is nailed to a paltry 3%. What is left are crumbs, divided among Baidu, Ask, AOL and some other minor search engines.
I started surfing the Internet in September 1997 when I was eighteen. At the time it took the equivalent of one hundred dollars a month delivered to a small local provider as fixed charges in order to connect, to which you had to add the regular cost of phone units.
With a link speed of 56 Kbps it was an outright theft but back then in my area you had no other choice.
At that time Netscape 4 was the top notch browser and the same was AltaVista for search engines. I really liked AltaVista, it worked well. It would give you results in just a few seconds whenever you needed a search to be done. Sometimes the results were inaccurate but with a little adjustment to the search string you could always find what you needed.
And then one day Google came and changed everything. It completely wiped out all the competitors and monopolized a market worth several million dollars where no leeway seems to be left either for existing competitors or potential new entrants.
Based on the latest data from NetMarketshare, in May 2010 Google holds 85% of the global market. Yahoo is around 6% while Bing, meant to become Microsoft alternative to the big G is nailed to a paltry 3%. What is left are crumbs, divided among Baidu, Ask, AOL and some other minor search engines.
In 2008, for a short time everyone spoke very enthusiastically of Cuil as a possible alternative to Google. Past the initial wave of euphoria it was soon forgotten. Today is used by less than 0.01% of the Internet users.
Itʼs even worse on the Microsoft and Bing side. Ballmer says that if you look at the numbers, their search engine is a success. Well, if the numbers are indeed accurate, I find it hard to believe him.
The unquestionable primacy of Google wonʼt change for a long time and perhaps, in the short to medium term, the company ubiquity could discourage potential new entrants to invest in a market that looks saturated not by a myriad of competitors, but by just one huge subject that absorbs all others.
If you are a nostalgic type, try googling AltaVista (funny enough) and take a look at the first result: “AltaVista Provides The most comprehensive search experience on the Web!”. Too bad it doesnʼt exceed 0.01% of market share.
Where do you see the search engine scenario going in the next couple of years? Share your thoughts!