Azara Blog: Google's dominance in search market allegedly being challenged

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Date published: 2007/04/14

The BBC says:

Google's dominance of the search market, which in the UK stands at 75%, is increasingly being challenged by rivals desperate to become popular with a generation of web users growing up with Google as their homepage.

Given that search is the number one web activity and intrinsic to the fabric of online life it is perhaps strange that most people are content to limit their information-seeking to just one search engine.

With few studies to prove that Google's results are significantly better than its rivals, search engines such as Ask are keen to persuade users to experiment with the alternatives.

But it is going to be hard to break the Google habit.

"There is nothing to stop people using other search engines," said Nate Elliot, analyst with research firm Jupiter.

"It isn't much trouble to go to another but people increasingly have Google on their browser window and even for those that type it in each time it has become a habitual thing,"

It wasn't always so. Mr Elliot remembers a time when searchers were a "far more fickle bunch", with search engines such as AltaVista and HotBot flavours of the month.

Google's popularity was partly kick started by its clean, uncluttered homepage which won many admirers.

No, Google's popularity was not kick started by its uncluttered homepage. Altavista was the first serious search engine and could have been the Google of the world but made a big, big mistake, in that they ranked a webpage higher if the owner paid them money. This meant that you often got loads of dross from a query before you got anything useful. Google did not do this. And Google had an innovative, and sensible, algorithm in that they ranked a webpage higher if other websites linked to it. Google queries did (and still do) usually give good results. This is why people started using (and still use) Google. Until the pretenders have a worthwhile "unique selling point", or Google shoots itself in the foot, Google will continue to dominate.

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