Google Gets Bigger

Google seems to ba grabbing more and more of the search market, just over 64% of all US searches.

What is most interesting is this:

Conventional wisdom has long held that Google is vulnerable to vertical attacks, i.e. search engines that carve out category niches. The new Hitwise data suggests, however, that Google is actually gaining influence in valuable verticals. Search engines overall grew in influence over the year, accounting for more of the total traffic sent to sites in the categories of travel, health, shopping, business, and entertainment, among others. However, in all of those categories, the growth of Google’s share of this “upstream traffic” flow outpaced that of its rivals. In shopping, for example, Google’s share grew 14% while, taken together, all search engines increased their share in that arena by only 6%.

I too think that there is still room for other search engines in the vertical markets, as to most of the people I talk to. However a couple of months ago I had an interesting conversation with the CTO of a big content provider. This content provider is running a free vertical search engine for their community built on freely available content, but the CTO admitted that Google was just as good in locating relevant information in the same vertical search space as their vertical search engine. A worrying admission given that Google is searching a much larger and disparate corpus than that of the vertical search engine.

I was sceptical at the time, but perhaps it is time to revisit that conventional wisdom?

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