May 03, 2002

Google challenges Yahoo as the #1 search site in the world
WebSideStory reported that Google is rapidly gaining market share among search sites and could surpass long-time leader Yahoo! if the trend continues. As of April 24, 2002, Google accounted for 31.87 percent of all search referrals worldwide - an all-time high - compared to Yahoo, with 36.35 percent as of the same date.

On my site, Google and Google-powered Yahoo results account for almost 100% of search referrals. Of course that's largely because I (so far) have refused to pay for a listing in Overture-related or MSN's engines. My theory is that the majority of my audience (usability and web professionals) primarily use Google anyway -- they know a good thing when they see it. I also feel that search engines like Overture and MSN have no content without listings -- they need new listings or they get outdated and irrelevant and lose their market share. Google has the largest, freshest index of the web that's available -- why would I pay for a listing with an inferior product? It would be different if I were selling products or services, but I'm not. Overture and MSN effectively ignore a huge percentage of the web and treat non-paying sites as insignificant -- I think that's an ignorant assumption to make.

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