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King Google, We Bid Thee Farewell

Written by: Darren Bocksnick © 2010

Since its inception back in 1998, Google has dominated the search engine realm by making a plethora of information available on nearly every subject imaginable in only a matter of seconds.  The speed and power of Google created a phenomenon of infinite possibilities where the world itself was literally at the user’s fingertips.  As such, Google is widely recognized as one of the largest websites in the world with its growing list of various offerings including, Google Ad Planner and email services through Gmail.  Though this in itself is an impressive and commendable accomplishment; it is soon to change.

Trend analysts have noted key indicators that seem to point to one foregone conclusion; Google may not be king forever.   Firstly, there is the factor of Yahoo and Bing joining forces in a concerted effort to combat Google.  NBC news described the union as being a strategic move designed to capture much of the search engine market share away from Google.   As it currently stands, Google owns 71.59% of the search engine market, while the Yahoo/Bing union makes up for 24.15% of the market.  While this is hardly any proof that Google is poised to lose its preeminence as the search engine of choice; there are other factors yet to consider.

Secondly, as far as search engine stats are concerned, Bing actually outpaced Google with the number of search queries being conducted.  While this is proportionate to the respective sizes of each search engine; it is still a growing trend, worthy of notice.

Thirdly, the factor of cultural niche  comes into play.  Cultural niche refers to activities and behavioral tendencies of individuals that are representative of society as a whole. The niche those behaviors fall into or point toward is what defines the culture at large.  One such cultural niche is another Internet phenomenon known as Facebook.  Without question, Facebook is a cultural niche of epic proportions and will continue to grow since more than just tech savvy teens or college sorority members are using the site for staying connected.  Now families, colleges, businesses and the government are using the site for conducting their daily affairs.

In terms of the number of unique visitors, Facebook is now considered the largest website in the world.  Still, beyond this, there is at least one area where Facebook holds unquestionable preeminence; the time spent on the website.  The social Internet trend site, noted that “Facebook has become the “Internet’s ultimate time waster”, with users spending an average of 4 hours, 39 minutes on it per month, more than any other site on the Web.” 

Here is where things start adding up.  The New York Times reported Microsoft’s headline stealing news when it won a much desired stake of ownership in Facebook over that of Google and Yahoo.  The 1.6 % stake in Facebook, which cost Microsoft $240 million, was a major victory for helping propel the software giant into the social media realm.

Now, with the combined resources of Internet pioneer, Yahoo and software pioneer, Microsoft and its new search engine, Bing; Google should at least raise a proverbial eyebrow and take notice.  When we consider Yahoo and Bing’s intentions for joining forces, which is for stealing search engine market share away from Google; this makes the plausibility of Google losing its ruling crown even more convincing.

Still, these factors in themselves are not reasons enough to place Google’s "kingdom" at risk.  The one oft overlooked detail that does place Google's unchallenged rule at risk is a factor called convenience.  Let us recap:

 *      Facebook is the world’s largest website.

*      Facebook is the # 1 “time stealer” website with more people spending more time on the site than on any other website.

*      Microsoft now owns stake in Facebook.

*      Bing is Microsoft’s own search engine that has outpaced Google in growth.

With Microsoft holding a stake of ownership and its own search engine, Bing making steady strides, it is an easy transition for Facebook members to use Bing as their search engine of choice; especially since Bing is now powering Facebook search queries.  This factor is further substantiated by the amount of time Facebook users spend on the site.  If the good majority of an Internet user’s day is spent on Facebook, it becomes a matter of convenience for them to stay “in” Facebook  and conduct Internet queries, rather than opening up another web browser outside of Facebook to accomplish the same task.

As with any reigning kingdom,  they all reach an apex before the inevitable plunge into insignificance occurs.  While this may never completely occur with Google; the signs of their growth and subsequent dominance are slowing- the first indicators of a ruling force reaching its pinnacle before the slow descent.  One thing is certain; Google ever will remain as a pioneer who grabbed the hands of society and propelled us forward with one giant leap into unprecedented heights of information and discovery.  For that oh king, we bid thee farewell.  You have reigned well but now it’s time to anoint a new successor to the search engine throne…


Please feel free to leave me your comments, they are welcome and appreciated!


Posted 12-14-2010 12:04 AM by Darren Bocksnick
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