Has Google topped out?
When Web-search market-share figures come out, the story has become familiar: Google's numbers go up, while everyone else's fall. But the story changed this month when the newest figures came out from ComScore Networks. Something unthinkable happened in July: Google's share of Web searches dropped a percentage point to 43.7%.
What does this mean? Barry Schwartz at SearchEngineRoundtable picks up the debate, in which some say that the change in Google's market share is statistically insignificant, while others say it's evidence that Google has "topped out." Garrett Rogers of Googling Google is in the latter camp: "When it comes to innovation in search technology, Google has been relatively static for a long time — maybe users are getting bored?"
Rogers points out that Google hasn't introduced many visible innovations into its core Web search engine. Meanwhile, Ask.com has become newly aggressive under Barry Diller's ownership, rolling out "Smart Answers" that help users refine their search until they get the results they're looking for.
And sure enough, the latest numbers show that Ask has been gaining market share at Google's expense. No wonder Google co-founder Larry Page is going nuts about Google engineers who refuse to work on search results projects that they deem "boring."
In my opinion the decrease number in searches for Google is a direct response to the number of advertisement related hits Google returns. Just to give provide an example. No too long ago, I was searching for a keyboard for my daughter, I saw one made by Yamaha at Costco I went home an did a search on Google to see if I should buy it, to my surprise the first 3 pages of hits were for eBay, I took a closer look and I noticed that the links from Google were taking my browser to a company called Ad Farm (or something similar) and from there to eBay (no this wasn�t spy ware, I performed the same search on about 6 or 7 computers) the funny thing was that eBay didn�t have any keyboards of the model number that I was searching on their site� I even called eBay to complaint about it but they stated that they didn�t know anything about Ad Farm or spy ware.
I don�t know if Google and Ad Farm have a business agreement or if eBay vendors are contacting Ad Farm to direct traffic to their sites but the result is the same�. 3 pages of eBay hits with nothing to show for.
Sounds like Larry Page is turning into a bit of a dictator. That's what happens when something as big and as dangerous as Google gets -- there is too much information being collected with identifiable results and people should realize their digital trail could be damaging.
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