Battle for Online Search Market
Google’s urgency in releasing Desktop Search shows that it knows the fight over computer searching is moving to new ground. Amazon brought out A9, Vivisimo introduced Clusty, and Idealab, an investment company based in Southern California, has presented Snap.
Propelled by Google envy, new players and Internet industry giants are rushing into the online search market, setting off a burst of activity that contrasts sharply with the lull after the dot- com collapse of 2000.
To fend off its challengers, Google has furiously intensified efforts to add services to its brand. Last Thursday, it introduced Google Desktop Search, a program that is a direct challenge to Microsoft’s control of desktop computing because it searches for information on a user’s personal computer as well as on the Web.
In recent weeks, Google has also announced Google Print, to compete against the Search-Inside-the-Book feature of Amazon.com and Google SMS, a software tool for searching the Web from cellphones.
But despite its push into new areas, some experts say that Google may be vulnerable because the search market, one of the internet’s most profitable areas, will increasingly be shaped by non-technological factors, such as brand. And that shift may play to the advantage of larger competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo. In fact, Google’s urgency in releasing a desktop search program shows that it knows the fight over search is moving to new ground.
“Microsoft will have a meaningful impact; they don’t have to dominate to make a difference,” said James Friedland, a San Francisco-based analyst for S.G. Cowen, an investment firm headquartered in New York. “If they start to gain share, it will slow down Google’s growth.”
Other analysts contend that there is plenty of room in the search market for both small and large competitors because profit from online advertising much of it based on advertising linked to search results is growing fast.
“Every indication is that corporate advertising budgets are increasingly allocated to the Internet,” said David Garrity, a financial analyst at Caris, a Wall Street investment firm.
Rising spending means that Google could continue to grow even as more companies enter the field. A test of these opposing views could come soon, perhaps before the end of the year, when Microsoft brings out its new search service. More at Tech News World…
Despite previous misgivings, Blog Bloke couldn’t resist installing the Google Desktop Search. So how is it? The bottom line is, (admittedly) it is a really cool and useful tool.
Nevertheless my privacy concerns seemed to be validated when it (GoogleDesktopIndex.exe) asked my firewall for permission to access the internet. Huh! I thought they said my private information would not be compromised? I said no of course and denied internet access, and the app still seems to work fine.
But the question remains - to whom was it calling and why?