Can Google Be Unseated From Its Search Dominance Throne?

Can Google Be Unseated From Its Search Dominance Throne?

Is Google More Than Just A Search Engine?

For years now, Google has been the undisputed leader in the battle for search engine market share. Consider, if you will, the level to which Google has become part of our everyday lives. It’s become much more than just a convenient way to find things online. For most people, it’s the only way. In fact, “google” has been listed as a verb in the Oxford English Dictionary for nearly 7 years.

We’re talking about being on par with Kleenex™. Think about it, when is the last time you asked for a tissue? Depending on how old you are, did you even know that’s what those little rectangles you use when you have the sniffles are actually called? Every once in awhile, a company comes along that redefines part of our language as well as our culture. Google happens to be one of those companies.

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Search Engine Market Share April 2013 

Maybe Google isn’t just a search engine. Maybe any other search engine is just a feeble attempt to be Google. (That sounds strange, but isn’t that how many people view Kleenex? “Any other brand is just a cheap imitation.”)

How much does Google dominate the search market?

I suppose it depends on your definition of “dominate,” but in a detailed breakdown of the numbers done by Search Engine Land it’s clear that Google stands head and shoulders over the competition.

Graph

In short, Google dominates the search engine market, and has been dominating it for years.

Is Google untouchable?

In an interview on Pocket-Lint, Vint Cerf, inventor of the TCP/IP standard and an internet pioneer, made it very clear that Google doesn’t see itself as anywhere near invincible:

“There’s nothing to stop someone from developing better technology than we have and to invent something even more powerful and efficient and effective. Which, of course, scares us. And that’s good because it means we run as fast as we can to develop better tools for search in order to try to stay ahead of the game.”

Of course, Google has reasons to pretend that they can be beat, even if they can’t be – all the anti-trust and anti-competitive charges and suits that have been thrown at them.

Is there hope for other search engines?

RYP Marketing recently completed a survey of over 500 internet users to examine Google’s dominance. The survey results are mixed, but do offer hope to competitors who are trying to beat Google. Here are the relevant data points:

  1. 21.6% of respondents were dissatisfied with Google’s privacy policies/actions. While I would have expected a higher number, this is a significant pool of users that a competitor could work to win away from Google. Unfortunately, not many respondents actually said they would switch for privacy reasons, so it may be that Google isn’t “bad enough” yet to drive users away.
  2. A large portion (about 42%) of respondents said a search engine just has to deliver better results, and they would leave Google.
  3. 69% of respondents had used Yahoo, Bing, Ask, or DuckDuckGo in the past 6 months. This is massively good news for Google’s competitors. This demonstrates that users are at least trying other search engines, which gives competitors the opportunity to deliver a better experience and win users away from Google.
  4. There was some bad news for Google’s competitors also – about 16% said there is nothing that could convince them to abandon Google.

So while it is certainly possible that, as Cerf puts it, “…there could be somebody just like Larry and Sergey [Page and Brin of Google] on some university campus with an idea we don’t have that could explode on the scene and take the business away,” it’s going to take something truly revolutionary to unseat Google from its search dominance throne. But, in the fast-paced world of Internet innovations you never know when something like that could come along seemingly out of the blue.

Can Google be unseated? Yes, but it will be very difficult.

Post By Adam Thompson (1 Posts)

Adam Thompson is the founder of RYP Marketing, a Virginia based digital marketing agency. Adam is a contributor to SEOmoz, Search Engine Journal and other prestigious blogs. When not writing, Adam enjoys Doctor Who, fishing, boating, and music. You can follow Adam on Twitter at @AdamRYP.

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5 Comments

  • avatar
    Ee Stairs USA 

    on 

    Interesting article! As a stairs manufacturer we do generate many leads through Google. I am really curious about how the market of search engines is going to look like in a couple of years from now!

  • avatar

    I am looking forward to the day that another search engine steps into the fray and offers Google some serious competition. Given another viable option, I believe that very large number of users would jump ship.

  • avatar
    Marius Fermi 

    on 

    I think the stats and figures generally do speak for themselves for Google, however you have to consider the power Google has not only in search dominance but overall Data too.
    On a daily basis data is fast becoming a commodity which will start to outweigh the power of Oil and other fossil fuels – now look at the wars that have been started and powers over thrown.
    I think Google does have a long road of dominance ahead but like most powers they tend to have a very bad downfall.

  • avatar
    Ramkrishnan 

    on 

    Its not a simple thing to unseat Google . Even the school books tells children that “GOOGLE IS THE SEARCH ENGINE ” not as Google is a search engine.

  • avatar

    Good article. Of-course its tough to take Google away from the top seat. But anything can happen in the fast changing world of information technology.

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