dimanche 1 février 2009

3.1.3 The search engines in the world

The more I study the E-world and the more I realize that the web is exactly
the reflect of our society but in a non-physical aspect. Internet did not break cultural
differences and search engines really show it.
As we just saw Google represents 6 research out of 10 in the world but does it
mean that each country in the world has a population of 60% Google users?
To answer this question let's have a look at the following map:
Illustration 5: The most visited website by country

As we can see here the world is not covered entirely by Google. We clearly
have some Google countries, Yahoo countries, Mail.ru countries and so on and so
We can however notice some striking information such as almost all the
American continent is using Google as well as Europe, Northern Africa and
Southern Africa, Australia, India. In one word almost all countries which have strong
links with the Anglo-Saxon culture.
Then comes what I would qualified as a cultural wall which is starting in
Eastern Europe and which is finishing in Russia. Here are the ex-soviet countries. I
unfortunately have no concrete proves of what I am saying but I suppose that there is
a kind of a « boycott of American technologies » and support of Russian
technologies. The recent partnership between Yandex (main search engine in Russia)
and the browser Firefox raised those suspicions10.
Russia is not the only country in this situation, China also. The recent
advertisement broadcast by Baidu (the leader search engine in China) shows clearly
the will that Chinese public institutions are ready to protect their territory.11
As you can see Asia is the region where Google is the least present. It is also
the continent where are gathering a lot of different search engines.
I may not emphasize the diversity of the Caribbean area as well as Center
Africa which are areas where Internet is not that well implemented which mean then
that the battle to take the lead is not finished yet. For example is it really relevant to
say that Yahoo is the leader in Cameroon which is a country with less than 500,000
Internet users?
I however will highlight that the Pacific area which is containing all the
« Tigers » (Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore...) are all in red: Yahoo.
The search engine world is then divided in two parts:
· The Google world: which is composed of all the Anglo-Saxon countries as
well as countries which have strong links with the United States or Great
Britain. It is clearly showed regarding India and Australia. We can at the date
of today still identify two countries which are not under Google control:
Czech Republic and Iceland but actually by looking at the figures and the
forecasts it is just a matter of time12.
· The Asian – Pacific world: Asia is composed of a lot of countries and of
course a lot of cultures. Among them we can identify four players:
◦ Mail.ru which is dominating all the ex-soviet countries;
◦ Baidu which has a total control over China;
◦ Naver, a 100% South Korean product which is the best example that
search engines work by culture;
◦ Yahoo which is leader in all the “Tigers” Asian countries.
Yahoo being an American technology such as Google, how is it possible
that Yahoo is so successful in the Pacific area and not elsewhere? The
reason I found is that Yahoo is a shiny portal and that Asian culture on
Internet recognize a quality website to the number of animations on it13. I will then
add that Japan is a strong pole of Internet with one of the highest rate of Internet
integration in the world per capita14. This is why I think Yahoo is so popular in this

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