The Fragmentation of Search
I don’t agree with Jeff Jarvis and Glenn Reynolds. Google isn’t near peaking. They continue to innovate and push ahead on many fronts. It is certainly a different kind of company and many of their services aren’t nearly as good as they could or should be, but I think Google is doing as many (or more) interesting things as any company in the world right now.
But in their core business, search, I find myself behaving differently these days. I used to always search via Google using the Firefox search field. Then I switched to Yahoo! Now I search on both and a bunch of other services as well.
Here is my Firefox dropdown list. After I type in a search term, I generally drop down to find the best service for that search.
I wish there was a way to track which search services I use the most, but here is my best guess:
1 – Google – 25%
2 – Yahoo – 20%
3 – Wikipedia – 20%
4 – Delicious – 15%
5 – Flickr – 10%
6 – Answers – 5%
7 – Others – 5%
I realize that I am far from normal in my use of search. I’ve seen the stats that say www.yahoo.com is one of the most common search terms in Google.
But I do think that as Firefox and hopefully IE7 offer more opportunity to customize the search field, people will do just that and start choosing the appropriate web service to search before hitting the enter key.