PC Magazine has an article which talks about a claim by Daniel Brandt, president of Public Information Research that “Google is too powerful. The search engine no longer reflects the popularity of a site; it defines the popularity of a site.” I would tend to agree with the statement – Google accounts for a significant portion of traffic on most sites now. So, how high one is in Google’s ranking determines the traffic. To get high, one needs to get plenty of people linking in to the page. This makes it increasingly hard for new sites to benefit from the Google effect.
Another article on Search Engine Watch discusses the way competition to Google can emerge. The conclusion:
The recent consolidation trends mean fewer players. Inevitably, these are also the fittest, with more negotiation power. Yahoo! acquiring Overture would tip the balance of power, creating a formidable competitor to Google. MSN Search has certainly not played its hand yet. Redmond cannot feel too good about fueling Yahoo!’s traffic and paid placement revenues.
More players and competitors will surface as more creative and sustainable business models emerge. Search players will increasingly focus on respective and distinct core competencies. Indexing the web is a complex task, as is researching smarter relevancy algorithms. Richer concept-based marketing tools will require more sophisticated skills.
A new model could very well emerge, where crawlers crawl and marketing firms target campaigns. Meta search engines could very well differentiate themselves providing real aggregation value, executing on relevancy and user experience, and emerge as the top search destinations.