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Litmus test for Google

By RK Rishikesh Sinha, New Delhi

Three search engines – Google, Yahoo! and MSN – rule the roost in the domain of online “search”. Google’s dominance, which accounts for more than 60 per cent, makes it monotheism for million of online users who believe that there is only one search engine called “Google”.

But the Google Gorilla is facing new danger, with the launch of Microsoft’s new search engine: Microsoft move to have a space for itself in the search engine world came after its failed attempt to buy Yahoo!

Is Google worried? Will Microsoft be able to show its offline power in online? – are some of the questions rounding up in the web world. is not the first search engine pitching in the “search” canvass. Before that many attempts had been made. Their launch was hyped to the hilt, but in due course of time these search engines failed to show their sheen, and were not able to meet at par the Google experience.

One is Cuil (pronounced as Cool), developed by former employees of Google, Anna Patterson and Russell Power. The much anticipated fear that Cuil will destabilize Google, even failed to come half-way. Forget, becoming the second Google.

In Cuil, the doesn’t show up. So someone using Cuil search engine, don’t expect that it will throw up the whole repository of the site.

The mantra for success for any search engine is multi-fold. One of the key factors on which search engine’s sink or swim goes with the experience of the users. If it failed to comes up with intelligent, correct, reliable, and efficient answers, than with bulging cost of operation the search engine itself goes out of search.

However, in the past weeks another search engine had its launch. The search engine WolframAlpha answers a particular type of user’s query. “Enter your question or calculation, and WolframAlpha uses its built-in algorithms and a growing collection of data to compute the answer; based on a new kind of knowledge-based computing,” claims the search engine.

Enter “Bishnupriya Manipuri”, you will see a difference from what you are accustomed to look at in Google search. WolframAlpha comes up with facts and figures about the Bishnupriya Manipuri community. That was not there in Google experience.

To the question, is Google’s dominance in the online search in danger? No, firstly because Google is an export of Silicon Valley; secondly, it is a manifestation of American citizen belief that, for all their recent travails, their fate still lies in their own hands [Economist]. Fourth is again being an American product: tradition of close relations between universities and industry. Last, its most secretive algorithm curry that makes all the difference from other search engines.

Yes, Google dominance will diminish in the coming years. Reasons: In countries like Russia and South Korea, Google is not the first option people look at. The Russian search engine market is dominated by Baidu, and in South Korea, it is Naver. Secondly, Microsoft clout in software with its Office suit is ubiquitous and well-known. Probability of success goes high when it is product of Microsoft, after all.

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