Search Engines That Matter Today: Google
If you focus your design on Google’s webmaster guidelines, chances are your website will also do well across all of the other (important) search engines. Google’s rise from its humble beginnings to what it is today is nothing short of phenomenal.
Google was created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin at Stanford University. In many ways,Google was similar to most of the other major search engines, but its interface did not look like much, consisting of a simple form and search button. This simplicity, so
different from portal-like search engine sites, was a welcome relief for many.
Over the years, Google evolved into the multiproduct company it is today, providing many other applications including Google Earth, Google Moon, Google Products, AdWords, Google Android (operating system), Google Toolbar, Google Chrome (webbrowser), and Google Analytics, a very comprehensive web analytics tool for webmasters.
In 2008, the company even launched its own standards-compliant browser, Chrome, into what some feel was an already saturated market. Designing your website around Google makes sense. The Google search network(search properties powered by Google’s search algorithms) has 65% of the market share, according to comScore’s June 2009 report.
Google’s home page has not changed much over the years. Its default search interface mode is Web, and you can change this to Images, Maps, Shopping, or Gmail, among others. What have changed greatly are Google’s results pages, mostly with the addition
of ads and supplementary search results. In the years ahead, Google will be hard to beat, as it is many steps ahead of its competition.
Google is using many of its own or acquired tools and services to retain its gripon the search engine market.
Granted, Google’s competitors are watching it. It is also clear that Google is not standing still in its pursuit to maintain and increase its search engine market share dominance. This is evident in its acquisition of YouTube.com and others. According to comScore’s press release for July 2008, YouTube drew 5 billion online
video views in the United States:
In July, Google Sites once again ranked as the top U.S. video property with more than 5 billion videos viewed (representing a 44 percent share of the online video market), with YouTube.com accounting for more than 98 percent of all videos viewed at the property.
Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 446 million videos (3.9 percent), followed by Microsoft Sites with 282 million (2.5 percent) and Yahoo! Sites with 269 million (2.4
percent). Hulu ranked eighth with 119 million videos, representing 1 percent of all videos viewed.
In late 2006, Google made a deal with MySpace to provide search and ad services to MySpace users. Currently, with more than 100 million users and still growing, MySpace is one of the two biggest social networking websites.
Some additional notable Google offerings include:
• Google Book Search
• Google Desktop
• Google Finance
• Google Scholar
• Google Talk
• Google Groups
• Google Webmaster Central
To see even more Google products and services, visit http://www.google.com/options/
Founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo, Yahoo! emerged in the clumsy form of http://akebono.stanford.edu/yahoo (this URL no longer exists, but you can read about Yahoo!’s history in more detail at http://docs.yahoo.com/info/misc/history.html). For the longest time, Yahoo! leveraged the search services of other companies. This includedits acquisition of Inktomi technology. This changed in 2004, when it dropped Googleas its search provider in favor of using its own acquired technology.
Yahoo! was Google’s biggest rival for many years. What sets Yahoo! apart from Googleis its interface. When you go to the Yahoo! website, you actually see a web portal withall kinds of information. Many people see this design as cluttered, with too much competing
superfluous information. Once you get to Yahoo!’s search results pages, things start to look similar to Google and Bing.
In 2008, Microsoft made a failed attempt to buy Yahoo!, which responded by formingan advertising relationship with Google. That changed in July 2009, when Yahoo!reached an agreement with Microsoft to use Bing as its search engine provider whilefocusing more heavily on the content delivery and advertising business.
As of this writing, Yahoo! is still using its own technology to provide its search results.
It will take some time before Microsoft and Yahoo! are able to merge their systems.Today, Yahoo!’s main attraction is in its textual and video news aggregations, sports scores, and email services. Yahoo! is a strong brand, and the Yahoo! Directory continuesto be one of the most popular paid web directories on the Internet.