Google has become a part of everyday life, both for its now-ubiquitous search engine, as well as for its huge lineup of services. Whether it's Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, Picasa or the almighty Google Search, the company holds a large majority of users in the palm of its hand.
And there are good reasons why Google's services and products are so popular, but that doesn't mean that the competition isn’t pitting their own ideas against the internet giant. Other big-hitters like Yahoo and Microsoft are also vying for their stake in the market, and numerous smaller developers are attempting to offer comparable services that keep Google on its toes.
We’ve got a list of ten alternatives to the most commonly used Google services, followed by services from alternative developers to give you more information on the available alternatives. There are some cases where Google indeed has a superior offering to its competitors, but there are also instances where a particular user might favor an alternative product.
For now, Google has nothing to worry about in the search market. Despite a 1 percent drop in month-on-month market share, Google is still crushing the competition with a 64.2 percent share, followed by Yahoo in a distant second at 14.3 percent. And what about Bing?
Yes, what about Bing. Microsoft's spunky search engine sits in third place with a 13.6 percent share of the market, and that alone doesn't sound particularly impressive. But make no mistake, Bing is on the up and up. While all but one other top five search engine showed a year-on-year drop in market share, Bing managed to move up by a whopping 51 percent. During that same period, Google moved backwards by 1 percent.
When you consider that Bing is now powering Yahoo's U.S. search operations, the market share outlook could look a whole lot more competitive this time next year. Google can afford to rest on its laurels for a little while longer, but after all this time at the top, we could soon be looking at a market share split.
Yahoo has finished transitioning its search back-end to Microsoft's search platform in North America, the two companies announced Tuesday. A week is all it took for the entire process to be completed. It was quite an inimitably productive week for Bing: Microsoft's share of the US search market nearly tripled. This is the first concrete step the two companies have taken on their way to implementing the 10-year search and ad deal they both agreed to last year.
“Yahoo! Web, Image, and Video search experiences on both desktop and mobile devices are now powered by the Microsoft platform in the US and Canada (English), with more markets to come. The speed in which this was completed is a testament to the great work and partnership between a number of Yahoo! and Microsoft employees, the ranks of which are numerous,” said Shashi Seth, senior VP of Yahoo search products.
We all know that Google is pretty much dominating the desktop search market, but a new analysis from Pingdom shows the mobile market is even more under Google's control. Google appears to be rocking a 98.26% share of mobile searches. The nearest competitor is Yahoo, with about 0.8%. Probably all from the Motorola Backflip.
It's clear this is due to Google's placement on the iPhone and Android as the default search engine. Microsoft's Bing has less than half a percent of mobile searches. When Windows Phone 7 launches, it will have Bing as the built-in search provider. But is that enough to even put a dent in Google's piece of the pie?
Honestly, we can't think of a time we've used a search engine other than Google on a phone. Have you?
New York-based URL shortener Bit.ly is being courted by a number of companies, chiefly among them is Yahoo. If Bit.ly were acquired by Yahoo, it would be another piece in what appears to be a big social media push from the former search king. Rumors have been flying for months that Yahoo is also in talks to buy up location-based social networking company Foursquare.
Yahoo has become more of a content company as Google has taken over direct search. Since Yahoo's user base is mostly about content consumption, it makes sense to use social media to make their existing properties more interactive. What they are looking at is social aggregation; pulling in their users' activities from around the web to a Yahoo hub.
Bit.ly's real usefulness is to Yahoo wouldn't be its ability to shorten URLs, but rather the performance tracking of shortened URLs. This is going to be an integral part of the real-time web. We're passing the point that delayed web metrics can be of use. Where do you see Yahoo's strategy going?
According to comScore’s latest report on the US search market, Bing continued its recent upward trend during the month of June as well. Its share of the US search market increased 0.6 percent to reach 12.7 percent. Even Yahoo grew by an identical margin to finish the month with 18.9 percent.
Among the top four search engines, market leader Google was the only one that shed market share. Its share of the core search market decreased 1.1 percent during the month. comScore attributed Microsoft and Yahoo’s recent gains “to the continued utilization of contextual search approaches that tie content and related search results together.”
Won't somebody think of the children? Or the editors?
It seems that mass hysteria is breaking out across the Internet--or Slashdot, the only Internet a geek needs to know--about a new proposed treatment by HP and Yahoo in regards to that whirring hunk of metal and plastic in the corner of your room. I'm not talking about WALL-E, nor Jeffrey, but your printer. You know, that crude device that that basically transforms your hard-earned money into a few pages of text and color?
There are few more toxic battlegrounds than the ol' home printer, the site of a thousand separate arguments over the role a manufacturer can play in shaping your fate with a product post-purchase. It cuts to the very heart of what's an "open" environment-perhaps not in direct function or in one's ability to install Linux on a device, but rather, the concept that what you purchase should be yours to alter and modify as you see fit sans infringement or prevention by others.
According to the Internet hysteria, HP is ready to invade that sense of ownership with unwanted, location-based advertising to accompany your print jobs. But that simple generalization is, thankfully, completely blown out of proportion.
Analytics company comScore has recently been seeing an increase in the share of the search market claimed by Microsoft's Bing and Yahoo. But according to the stat tracker, both companies are using some shady practices to game the system. Both search engines have been placing links on their web pages that are actually search queries. So when a user clicks them, it appears they did a search on the company's search engine. Yahoo and Microsoft image slideshows too have been engineered to show up as searches. ComScore is now saying they will try to correct for this practice.
ComScore plans to continue as normal for the rest of the quarter, but as early as July they could start shaking things up. In a statement comScore said the issue, "calls for a thoughtful review of how we classify various types of searches, count them and report them." Could it be some of Bing's notable gains are ill-gotten? Wee'll be watching to see if next quarter's numbers tell a different story.
You may have noticed that you're seeing more ads for BP in your search results. It turns out that the oil company has moved into full-fledged PR panic and is now buying up various search terms relating to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It has been confirmed that BP has bought ads on Google and Yahoo thus far.
Searching for 'oil spill' will present an ad at the top of the page for BP's "Gulf of Mexico response". According to a BP spokesperson the ad buy is supposed to " assist those who are most impacted and help them find the right forms and the right people quickly and effectively." We would only point out that people will also get BP's party line on events in the Gulf, which in some cases diverge from the scientific consensus.
The search companies have not commented on how many ads BP has purchased or how much they will cost. Have you noticed the ads? Is anyone willing to believe the PR explanation?
Give Facebook credit, the site has built somewhat of an empire in the social networking space, and it continues to conquer new territories. The latest to welcome Facebook into its kingdom is Yahoo, which today announced plans to integrate the social networking service globally across more than 15 of its sites.
"More and more, people rely on social sites to share and discover information that matters to them, making Yahoo! uniquely positioned to provide people with all of the mainstream methods of content discovery - social, search, communications, and editorial," said Cody Simms, senior director of Social Platforms and Yahoo! Developer Network (YDN) at Yahoo!. "Starting with Facebook, we are bringing all of these elements together to give people one simple, trusted place to share information and connect. We think this offers great benefit to people across the web, and it's key to helping Yahoo! extend our reach and increase engagement."
Users of both Yahoo and Facebook are now able to link their accounts and view/share updates with friends across both networks. And if you choose to connect your accounts, you can view your Facebook News Feed on the Yahoo homepage, Yahoo Mail, and several other Yahoo portals.