There’s been a bunch of stories recently about how entrepreneurs and venture capitalists continue to focus on coming up with a better search engine at a time when Google dominates the landscape.
As someone who’s happily willing to try anything new and different, I can’t remember the last time I used a search engine on a regular or even semi-regular basis other than Google. I’ve tried a bunch but nothing has jumped out to encourage me to jump off the Google bandwagon.
Maybe this is because Google has become the Kleenex/Xerox of the search world.
Maybe it’s because Google remains the best search engine around despite the time, money and effort being spent on new search projects.
Maybe the focus for many entrepreneurs/investors isn’t general search technology but search focused on a specific vertical (i.e. travel, business, music) or medium (i.e. photos, video).
Maybe Don Dodge is right when he suggests getting 1% of the search market is worth $1-billion, which suggests you don’t have to go head-to-head with Google to be wildly successful.
Have we come to a period in time when the search landscape has become boring compared to five or six years ago when there was plenty of choice (i.e. Excite, Lycos, Hotbot, AltaVista, etc.)? I realize Google is a great search engine but surely there have to be some crackerjack developers out there who can bring some zing back to the search party.
More: Read Write/Web highlights a story in the International Herald Tribune about the search market in South Korea where Naver.com has 77% of the search market. This dominance is apparently due to a popular service called Knowledge iN, which is a user-generated question and answer application. Google ranks fourth in South Korea with only 1.7% market share. It may be time for Google to buy or partner with Naver.