dimanche 1 février 2009

3.1.5 The search engines competition

Google has been created in 1998 and at that time search engines were already
in place, it did not scared Google and one after the other Google bypassed all of
them. In fact among the big four Yahoo is the oldest (1994) and Microsoft the
youngest (2003). Even if the battle seems to be finished it will take a lot of time to
Google to be the number one in all countries (everything being linked to culture
rather than rationality) which in fact is giving hope to its followers.
At the time I am writing this thesis discussions are still on the way between
Yahoo and Microsoft in order for Microsoft to buy Yahoo search technologies. We
can understand how strategic a such acquisition could be. Yahoo having the research
knowledge and Microsoft the funds as well as the software ownership.
Regarding Baidu we cannot clearly see how they could compete against
Google outside of China.
As I said previously specialized search engines are limited to the website they
are linked to.
We could then think about new comers who starting from nothing could beat
famous search engines in a small period of time, it could have been the success of
some products such as Cuil launched in summer 2008 which received a lot of
advertisement through the news17. But search engines is a very ungrateful world
where visitors are giving no more than one chance: the product works or it does not.

Illustration 7: Results page of Cuil

This is a point that I discovered very quickly and that you can test by
yourself. People want the information as soon as they can. They are
ready to test the product but in a certain amount of tries. When you
move from Google to another search engine you are often intransigent. At the first
result which does not fit your expectations you will go back to Google. But is the
search engine wrong or is it because it is responding differently that on what you
were used to?
In order to conclude this part I would say that with the search engine history
we have and the search engine market configuration, I cannot see how Google
could lose its position. Until now only one company succeeds to make a such gap in
the world of search engine and it is Google itself and it was in a period where
everything had to be created on Internet.
So I would say that on this field I don't see how Google can be beaten and
even worried.
A new technology regarding research is however more and more recurrent in
this field and is called semantic research.

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