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Top 10 Overall Search Terms

22 Aug
Top 10 Overall Search Terms

Top 10 Overall Search Terms

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Who is after Google’s crown?

17 Sep

Google has risen to such a dominant position that other search players are often overlooked. According to comScore, Google had a 75% share of the UK search market in June 2008, handling 2916m searches. EBay was its nearest rival with a 5.5% share. Next came Yahoo!, Microsoft, Ask.com, AOL and Facebook, none of which had a share bigger than 4.3%.

Hitwise’s UK research for the same month focused on the leading search engines. It gave Google a crushing market share of 87%. Yahoo! and Microsoft took 4% each, and Ask trailed with 3%.

Overturning Google’s hegemony is a daunting task. Gavin Ailes, deputy managing director at The Search Works, says: ‘Microsoft, with all its marketing expertise, may pose the greatest threat. Cuil is also one to watch.’

Judith Lewis, search director at i-level Search, also has her eye on the start-up. ‘Cuil is probably the most notable contender for Google’s crown, though a merger between Yahoo! and Microsoft may help create a serious new rival,’ she says. ‘The internet is full of people trying to make a quick buck, so any aspiring rival’s anti-spam filters, as well as the quality and relevance of its results, will need to be perfect.’

Cuil claims to search three times as many webpages as Google, and 10 times as many as Microsoft.

Many argue that social networking sites have meant that Google is used less for ‘people search’ – looking for information on an individual – because that information is more likely to be found on a social networking site. For pure informational search, however, social networking sites are unlikely to make much of a dent in Google’s dominance.

Price-comparison sites continue to perform well, especially in the current economic climate. Google Product Search and Google Merchant Search do not currently trouble established players such as Kelkoo and Moneysupermarket.com.

‘Google’s advantage is that it is one step up the search stream,’ says Adam Russell, LBi UK Media Account Manager. ‘It has no outgoing cost of acquisition, because Google does not pay for its clicks, whereas Moneysupermarket.com, for example, ends up paying Google. Moreover, Google has collected so much information about its users that it has become very accurate in second-guessing their needs and taking them straight to it, or at least streamlining their journey.’