is google still in the lead?

In search beyond Google some interesting questions are posed regarding Google’s dominance. It also provides information about what other companies (like Microsoft) are doing to improve in this area. Be forewarned, the article is long, and I only perused it, but it made me curious about some of Google’s competitors.

For instance, it mentions two search engines (Teoma and Mooter) that I took a look at but immediately noticed something: they look strikingly similar to Google. If people are copying Google, that indicates to me that they’re still the leader. However, even if that’s the case, it doesn’t mean they can rest on their laurels, because as Google’s director of technology Craig Silverstein observed, “It’s very easy to move from one search engine to a better one.”

He’s right. If a new search engine were to come out that was head and shoulders better than Google, in a few months Google could be a thing of the past. There’s no physical umbilical cord that ties us to a particular search engine. That’s really a good thing for us because it forces them to continue innovating or to lose out to something better. In the end, the users get to use the superior technology.

Anyway, as I was saying, other major search engines (AltaVista, AllTheWeb and Mamma). look quite similar to Google’s main page. It looks as though either Google found the ideal layout for search engines or there are a lot of uninventive web designers out there.


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  1. I like Google, but it seems that lately I have to browse through pages of advertisements before I find the information that I’m looking for. The fact that Google is so big is starting to work against them. Lots of “google-bombing” and other tricks are starting to make the search results less relevent.

    Like he said, it’s easy to switch search engines, so I guess when somebody else starts giving me more relevant results, then that’s where I’ll go.

    I used to use Altavista, but they went to crap just as Google was getting big. I’ve been a Googler ever since.

    Mooter is an interesting concept, though, so I may mess around there for a little while. :^)

    Comment by mckay on March 9, 2004 @ 9:10 am
  2. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at some of the other engines. It does look like they’re all rip-offs of Google. I’m just confused by Mooter though. Is there something wrong with my browser? When I do a general search and click on the results I get 404 errors for about 1/2 of them. The URLs show up as “http:///” instead of the address.

    Comment by jason on March 9, 2004 @ 9:32 am
  3. I seem to get hits everyday from search engines I’ve never used and probably never would. Who knew there were so many?

    Comment by Renee on March 9, 2004 @ 10:35 am
  4. I think the same….everyone is copying google
    They’re all jealous or something

    Lately I’ve seen how MSN and Yahoo have went to a completely and chaoticly ad infested theme to a simplistic theme, that’s strikingly similar to google’s

    Google doesn’t use any gradients or 3-D graphics to show off…
    everything looks so clean
    Even they’re new Gmail and Googl Groups are so cleaned up

    and now MSN and Yahoo decide they want to look clean as well…and also ebay has it’s subtle similarities.

    I wish that Google would go ahead a make a messenger, they probably will after gmail is not beta. And then we’ll see which corporation comes out on top

    Comment by Zane on February 13, 2005 @ 11:17 am

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