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Update on the Web Search Wars; Yahoo Influence Diminished

Posted Sep 23 2010 12:00am

For the first few years of the publication of this blog, I observed that Yahoo was usually the most popular search engine used by my readers. This surprised me because I always personally used Google for my searches as did not most my close friends and colleagues. I recently checked the statistics of the incoming traffic to Lab Soft News by search engine . I discovered that the ratio of Google-initiated searches to those of Bing is now a whopping 14:1 and that Yahoo searches have almost disappeared. I see perhaps 50 of them per day. I decided to do some snooping around and found a recent article on this topic (see: Bing's popularity shows impressive growth. But it's still way behind Google ). Below is an excerpt form it:

Our well-heeled colleagues over at Nielsen reported that Bing's US market share grew to 13.6 per cent as of July 2010. While that figure doesn't sound all that impressive, especially next to Google's 64.2 per cent, it does represent a 51 per cent increase for Microsoft's search engine over the previous year. In comparison, Google's share fell by one per cent over the same 12 month period. Nielsen's figures put Bing in third place just behind Yahoo, though...Yahoo's US search operations were being powered by Bing , meaning it is almost certainly became Google's chief rival. Microsoft will also take solace from the fact that when the number of searches was taken into account its growth outpaced all its rivals, recording a 28 per cent increase....Given the impressive growth of Bing, it will be interesting to see how much Microsoft will gain from taking over Yahoo's search operations. The problem for the outfit is that achieving 50 per cent growth is relatively easy when your market share is low, so the big question is whether Bing can continue to grow and start to really challenge Google.

So Yahoo is disappearing from the web search business and Microsoft/Bing is the only rival in sight for Google. Microsoft has its work cut out for it if it wants to overtake Google. I don't know about you, but I am delighted with Google's recently released Instant product that shows search results real-time as you type. Benefits of this product are described by Google in the following way:

  • Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search.
  • Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.
  • Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way.
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