Posts Tagged ‘Search Engines’

July 2008 Search Engine Market Share

August 21, 2008 1 comment

comScore released its July 2008 search engine market share numbers and once again Google has gained ground – up 0.4% from June to 61.9%.  This share increase was taken directly from Yahoo, likely due to the Microsoft fiasco, who lost 0.4% to 20.5%.

MSN Live search is still in a distant third place with 8.9% market share – my guess most of that traffic comes from those people who still have a Hotmail account.  I can’t for the life of me figure out how Microsoft indexes one page over another but there appears to be less competition for the top spots.  For example, my infoMedMD site is ranked #3 on MSN for medical symptoms but on page 3 for Google.  Even though Microsoft barely makes a blip on the search barometer I still receive the vast majority of my traffic from them.  So in this particular case it’s better for me to be #3 on MSN than page 3 for Google.  However, I would of course prefer to be #3 on Google where I would receive 50 times more traffic for the keyword medical symptoms!  


July 2008 Search Engine Market Share


Google’s Reach

June 22, 2008 1 comment

The Boston Globe published an article today entitled “Stopping Google” “which expresses some concern over Google’s control of our information. With 62% of all internet searches the globe expresses a lot of concern over Google’s control:

“…the concern is not with Google’s access to our personal information, but in Google’s power to order all information. Critics worry about the implications of a single company shaping public opinion, especially since – unlike the phone book’s alphabetical order, or the library’s Dewey Decimal system – there is little transparency in how Google orders the world for us. In the long run, scholars like Lastowka and Frank Pasquale argue, search engine algorithms could end up privileging sites full of erroneous or slanderous or heavily biased information, marginalizing opposing viewpoints.”

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has tremendous control over the success or failure of websites. If you upset them you could be banned from their directory, which could be detrimental to your business. Get listed first for a popular term and you’ll be reaping the benefits. Though I believe Google’s monopolistic control over search makes it very difficult for website owners to receive search traffic, I however don’t believe Google modifies their listings to benefit a particular website or opinion – their algoritium makes the decision based on a specific set of guidelines.

The article also mentions that “a few experts and privacy activists are pushing for public funding for alternative search technologies..” This seems like a ridiculous idea since 1. venture capital firms are already funding search alternatives (and they have a better track record then the government) and 2. the market will determine the future of search.

Over time the search market will evolve and Google will evolve. Just like Yahoo controlled the flow of information in the 1990s, Google controls the information today. However, just like Google came out of nowhere to conquer Yahoo there will likely be a new search platform that conquers Google. Whether that’s a new search engine, social networking or something else a couple of things are certain – the market will determine the winner and the private sector will fund it.

Starting a Startup

April 15, 2008 1 comment

Linked below are a few articles that can provide some direction and advice when starting a startup.

The Revenue Model is one of the most important decisions a startup can make. Whether to use an advertising or a subscription model depends on a number of factors. Linked below are two previous articles which talk about revenue models.

Internet Marketing includes a number of online techniques to increase targeted traffic to your startup. One of the most popular internet marketing fields is search engine optimization or SEO. SEO is essential in grabbing traffic from the search engines however I believe SEO is becoming ineffective and will continue to become so. Listed below are some previous articles that touch on SEO and forms of internet marketing.

10 Tips for a Successful Internet Startup

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SEO Will Eventually Become Ineffective

March 31, 2008 7 comments

I just came across an article entitled, “Bright SEO Career Prospects Could Dim,” which once again has resurfaced my belief that SEO will eventually become ineffective. The decline in SEO utility will ultimately force the majority of website owners to abandon their reliance on Google (for traffic) and look somewhere else. According to the article SEO consultants will see a surge in business over the next 5 years but after that business will plateau and ultimately decline. According to the author the decline will be the result of more educated users and website owners who will just optimize their websites on their own.

I agree that SEO will likely see a surge in business over the next 5 years and a decline after that. However, I disagree as to the reason for the decline. I don’t think the decline will be due to skilled web designers but rather due to the ineffectiveness of SEO. I agree that SEO is not rocket science and anyone can pick up the basics in just a few hours however I think the decline will be indicative of a bigger change in behavior.

Given that search is a very competitive (and crowded) place it will only get worse when the number of optimized websites increases over time. This will lead to an increase in competition that will mean fewer and fewer visitors for optimized sites, in return decreasing the value of SEO. If in 5 years an optimized site can’t guarantee a surge in traffic then SEO consultants can no longer demand their exorbitant fees. Websites obviously still need the traffic but since Google can no longer provide it to them then they are going to seek alternative ways to get that traffic. It remains to be seen whether that means niche search engines, advertising on focused social networks or an entirely new platform??!

I think the disparity between those that are satisfied with Google and those who aren’t will increase over time. Those who remain satisfied with search will be the end user looking for information. He/she doesn’t own a website and isn’t concerned about receiving traffic from Google – he is only interested in finding information when he needs it. Google and the search engines will always satisfy this user with the most relevant source.

The frustration sets in with the website owner who relies of Google for traffic. Over time his website will see a decline in traffic from Google (due to excessive competition) that eventually leaves him frustrated and unsatisfied with Google’s results. This dissatisfaction will ultimately force website owners to be the first group to migrate away from Google. Whether the average user follows remains to be seen but they have in the past. This scenario is not unlike the early days of Google when the more advanced web users fled Yahoo’s directory for Google. As we know everyone else eventually followed.

Not if, but rather when the next migration occurs is just a matter of time.

Niche Search Engines & Portals

February 23, 2008 2 comments

I just came across a site called Organized Wisdom which calls itself a “human powered health search” service guided by physicians. I find Organized Wisdom interesting because it’s a nice search engine that has come about due to the overcrowding of Google (MSN & Yahoo too) that I believe will be the future of search engines.

Currently when using Google you get a ton of results – some are relevant and others are not. What Organized Wisdom does is weed through all the crap to give you results from (and links to) the best health care information on the internet. Similar to how Mahalo is a “human powered search engine” (DMOZ and sort of too) Organized Wisdom is one too. Though you can argue that a lot of these niche search engines aren’t much different then the early portals which is partly true but they also provide site specific searches that the portals lacked. Of course a lot of these portals, Organized Wisdom too, use Google to do a site specific search. Google is still the best for indexing every line of information on any given website however they are definitely getting overcrowded. These niche portals/search engines can pick and choose which websites are the information authorities and let Google spider and index all the information from those particular sites.

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Search Engine Market Share

February 11, 2008 2 comments


According to, Googled ushered in the new year with its largest search market share to date – 68.6%. Up almost 7 percentage points in comparison to January 2007 – Yahoo declined 6% during that time and MSN remained relatively stable.

The interesting analysis to these numbers is that the top five search engines (Yahoo, MSN Live, ASK & AOL) combined don’t equal half of Google’s market share. Actually the combination of all the other search engines only equals 30.8%. Yahoo + MSN Live = 25.4%. This obviously gives Google a lot of capital to work with. Capital that is enforced on websites who must abide by Google’s rules of search engine optimization or else pay the consequences. This gives Google monopolistic control over websites whose sole existence relies on Google. If the website violates one of Google’s rules (many times unwittingly) they then could be banned from the directory thus ceasing the vast majority of their traffic. It’s to bad that in cases like these websites can’t have peace of mind knowing that MSN and Yahoo would be able to pick up the slack. There will come a time in the near future when websites give up on the one search engine internet that we see today. PPC has already priced out the small players and SEO can cost $100,000/year thus making organic rankings out of their reach too.

As I mentioned in Future Search Engines there must be more to the combined (if it happens) Yahoo and MSN merger then just grabbing 25% of the search market. First of Microsoft is sacrificing the present (most noticeably in stock price) to become the reigning online king in the next 5 years. Search will most likely take a new approach in the next five years and Microsoft (and I’m assuming Google too) knows this. Knowing that the internet is becoming a crowded place that will soon reach a saturation point (which means decline PPC income) search must create a new radical platform to placate the small to mid level internet companies & websites.

Future Search Engines

February 9, 2008 2 comments

Microsoft’s recent desire to purchase Yahoo (which was just “spurned” by Yahoo) has brought up a lot of interesting questions about the future of search engines.  Given the size of the two companies a successful merger of the two could be very unlikely – AOL Time Warner always comes to mind.  However, one thing interesting about the merger is all the talk and brainstorming about where search is heading.  For users Google is still by far and away the best (and most widely used) search engine when looking for information.  However, for internet startups like myself Google has become very ineffective in sending us traffic.  When using Google I can find the information I want however a lot of that information comes from major corporations who have the clout to be #1 organically and the money to be the #1 pay per click (PPC) ad.  As small entrepreneur I have ventured away from using Google for traffic and have instead focused more on niche players/blogs/directories which send me a very focused target audience.  For example I advertise Bizak on which sends me a lot more traffic then Google.  

Google search results have become overcrowded for websites looking for traffic and we’re looking for something else.  The estimate is that somewhere between 15-20% of websites are optimized for Google.  What happens when half of all websites are optimized for Google?  At that point it’s going to be virtually impossible to receive any sort of traffic from Google.  Users won’t notice the difference but websites will and they’ll want an alternative.  If you’ve noticed it seems like almost every company on the internet does search engine optimization.  This could be a tell tale sign that a change is coming.  When everyone starts talking about a particular stock it’s usually time to sell. This could be the same theory for search with many losing a lot of money for a process that no longer generates results.

TechCrunch wrote an interesting article on how Yahoo needs to take a radical approach to beat Google – and I agree.  Yahoo (and even a combined Yahoo/MSN) cannot beat Google at its own game.  Yahoo needs to take an entirely new radical approach to search.  As I mentioned previously Yahoo needs to create a new search brand but also consider the “radical approach.”  As TechCrunch mentioned Yahoo needs to consider search engines geared towards a particular niche (similar to my movement away from Google to niche websites) and giving away search KPIs to developers who can build whatever type of search engine they can conjure up.  This would indeed be a radical approach to search and an impressive gamble for Yahoo.  It’s not that far from Facebook allowing developers to create their own applications – the trick for both is figuring out how to monetize this development.