Apart from large countries like Russia and China where roman letters aren’t used to communicate, Google’s search engine has dominated the world online search industry for over a decade now. It controls more than 60% market share in the US alone, and rakes in billions of dollars in revenue for ads. Despite having other profitable sources like YouTube and Gmail, search remains to be Google’s main revenue generator. Last year alone, Google search engine earned $50 billion dollars for the company, far more than any other search engine.
After a decade of dominance, and constant growth, one is compelled to ask: will Google continue its dominance or will it like every other company or venture in history, meet its nemesis and lose its control over the market sooner or later? In near future, it seems improbable that any of Google’s competitors will overtake Google as the market leader. But is Google as infallible as it seems? What’s the reason behind its success?
Google started off as a brilliant search engine, beating its competition comprehensively but in the past 4-5 years, advancement in terms of search capabilities have not improved drastically as one may have hoped. It’s not that other search engines lack the ability or technology to beat Google’s search engine. It’s the control Google enjoys over the market. It has become synonymous with the internet for most users.
Google is like the most watched TV show not because it is the best, it is because people are unaware that other channels exist too. To break the Google bubble, something really special will be needed from its competition but neither Yahoo nor Microsoft seem to have that aggressive approach or exposure to threaten Google’s market share. Although Microsoft’s search engine Bing has a lot better image search options as compared to Google but since Google has become a household name, it is nearly impossible for even Microsoft to make a dent in Google’s market share.
Currently, if there is a company that can potentially threaten Google’s dominance, it has to be Facebook. With its massive traffic outreach, and user loyalty along with access to extensive information about individual, it can pose a genuine threat to Google’s dominance. Facebook’s 1.4 billion users and the data about their likes and dislikes, needs and wants provide Facebook with all the necessary ingredients to make a formidable opposing search giant that can rival Google itself.
There’s a third player in town that can rival both Facebook and Google if it gains traction. It all depends on how many people value their privacy and will be willing to quit Facebook and Google for their constant violation of user privacy and keeping track of their habits, needs and activities. DuckDuckGo founded in 2008 has recently gained quite a significant number of users, especially after news of the government spying on its own citizens broke.
The feature that makes DuckDuckGo stand out it that they do not track their users’ history, their locations or any of their information –all of which other search engines do in order to boost their advertisements. They believe that they don’t need to store user date in order to boost revenue from ads. Since apple OS in the new update has enabled apple users to switch to DuckDuckGo, numbers are expected to grow. But for the meanwhile, no real threat to Google’s dominance is in sight.