The big news in the search world this week was the launch of a search engine by ex-Google employees called Cuil. As you have likely already read an article or two (or 10) describing what Cuil does, I won't get into that. What I will get into is all the hype surrounding this engine's release.
Due to apparently new technology, the unique way information is presented, and the fact it has the largest index, Cuil is seen by many as a big threat to Google. This engine's entrance is even being touted by some as a Google killer.
Could this be the beginning of the end of Google? Not quite.
Let's consider the evidence:
All of these points indicate that Google isn't going anywhere anytime soon. I could be wrong, but if any engine -- even one that is so very "cuil" -- were to knock out Google, it'd take a lot of time and effort to do so.
People cite how in 1998 Google came in and seemingly wiped out Yahoo's then-well-established market share. What they don't realize is we were just at the beginning of our love affair with the Internet. Since 1998, Internet use has grown exponentially and with it, slowly but surely, search engine use. Just four years ago, only 30 percent of American Internet users accessed a search engine in a typical day. Now roughly half of Americans use a search engine in a typical day, according to the Pew Internet &d American Life Project. The fact that this wasn't such an entrenched daily activity for Internet users back in the day suggests it would have been easier to gain market share over an established competitor. However, as search engine use is growing so rapidly, it threatens to trump e-mail as the most frequent online activity. It's going to be increasingly difficult for new entrants to change user's behaviors and get them to switch.
And even if new entrants are somewhat successful, it doesn't mean Google won't sustain. Just look at Yahoo. In the five-plus years I've been in search, it's held steady around 20 percent market share. Why? Because those Internet pioneers among us starting using this engine way back in the day and just can't seem to break the habit. Just like some of us can't help but use "google" as a verb. They die hard, don't they?
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Julie is a member of the senior strategy team at Klick Health, focused on online media and digital. Julie initially established and led the media practice at Klick for several years, relinquishing leadership to expand beyond media into additional digital tactics. She brings a wealth of experience in search marketing, digital media, and all facets of digital strategy to bear, helping Klick's clients develop innovative digital solutions. As her role has evolved, so have her contributions to ClickZ, which she has been writing for since 2007.
March 19, 2014