Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Google rules the search waves!

Today we read about the search engines and the dominance of Google in the market. Hitwise analysts at have published their findings of the four weeks up to 21st October, 2006. Google powered a staggering 78% of UK Internet searches and Yahoo it second placed rival a mere 8%. The top four engines Google, Yahoo! Search, MSN Search and powered 96.6% of all UK internet searches.

However what was more interesting was their analysis of the share of referrals from search engines which has been increasing to key e-commerce categories. Travel agents received 39% , Appliance and electronics 36% and Insurance 35% of upstream visits from search engines and in the case of insurance this was up 14% in the past six months. A further interesting area is the performance of paid listings and the fact that many leading UK websites receive little to no search traffic from paid listings.

This appears to be a one horse town. Today I downloaded the latest version of Internet Explorer. There sitting proud on the Microsoft toolbar was both Google and Yahoo search books! I went to the news pages of both Yahoo and Google and read the latest general, sports and financial news from around the world.

So we now have to think out the implications re books and the Google’s book program. Ironically, Google today announced its latest Google Books Library Project - the University of Virginia Library. Google will digitize hundreds of thousands of books from the Library and make them searchable online through Google Book Search. With 13 physical locations as well as the original Rotunda, the Library contains more than five million volumes, 17 million manuscripts, rare books and archives, and rapidly-growing digital collections which includes the University of California, Harvard University, University Complutense of Madrid, University of Michigan, the New York Public Library, Oxford University, Stanford University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Anyone will be able to freely view, browse and read all books in the public domain and for those protected by copyright, will see the basic background and a few lines of text related to their search. They can also find information about where they can buy or borrow a book.So given the power of Google and their growing content are we entering a truly Brave New World?

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