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Search loyalty?

Alex Christie

25 August 2009

The verb ‘to Google’ is commonly used and has become a part of popular culture. Like Hoover, Kleenex, Xerox and Post-it, the Google brand has became a verb and was officially added into the Oxford English Dictionary in 2006.

Being the recognised leader in search (with 65% of the market share) it’s a brand that we all know and use loyally.  There have been many search engines that have popped up over the years and disappeared just as fast.  Yahoo and Microsoft (Bing) are the only search engines that have come close to compete with Google (and even that’s debatable).  This is all common knowledge and most people are aware of this.  So the question is how much of this strangle hold is down to brand loyalty? Knowing that Google is the search leader why would anyone bother giving another search engine a look in?

Blindsearch is an interesting project that allows you to do a comparative search using Google, Yahoo and Bing without telling you which one is which. Then, you vote for the results you like the best and it reveals which search engine you chose.

It was developed by a Microsoft employee but it’s not a Microsoft initiative and was not worked on in company time. I did 3 searches . ‘District 9’, ‘Athletics World Championships’ and ‘the Ashes’. Bing scored 2 out of 3 for me. If this was an independent initiative I’d feel less sceptical but its very interesting nevertheless.

Tags: Google
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