I have very few Google conspiracy theories but . A more likely scenario might be that the startup gets acquired by another major company (perhaps even someone traditionally outside of web search, like Nokia or IBM), and then begins their meteoric rise. Netflix is a great example, but I'd have to give Google a little more credit in terms of their ability to create a smart algorithm.

I agree with this. Google have knocked the BBC off the top spot as biggest brand in the UK and are the only firm formed after 1990 in the top 50. I haven't really seen an alternative yet that would make me use it instead of the other major SEs, and regarding some of these start ups, some are not open for business yet so it is hard to critique something you haven't used yet. It's a scary thought that most people cant accept, but a true one at that. In a single second, more than 40,000 searches are generated by Google; in a span of 24 hours Google manages to 3.5 billion hits and in a calendar year it breaks the roof with a whopping 1.2 trillion searches! They know Google and they do their search and click on the first page of results. becoming you walking home saying aloud "House, can you turn the heating on and look-up a cheaper gas provider I think this month is going to be a cold one.

Brent

. Certainly the cat and mouse game Google has waged with black hats over the years have produced plenty of poor search experiences and even the occasional PR nightmare, but I believe that even if Google's algorithms couldn't keep up in an automated sense, Google now has the power and the funding to preserve their position through sheer manpower - using human classifiers to root out any massive increase in spam in the short term while engineers found ways to pattern-detect them away.

The problem as you said is the acquistion risk. The one with the biggest and most popular network will be the future leader. However, they can still buy that company !!! This is win-win-win..... vendor gets the sale, search engine gets a commission and buyer gets a discount.

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I think that an existing competitor winning back share is perhaps the most likely - simply because I think that a startup would most likely fall prey to a take-over from one of the existing players in the market.

And yes....after reading through your comment, seems like it's quite possble ! venture is absolutely reliant on the value to the user - any innovator that has made a quantum leap in a competitive market has understood at the very basic level what is valuable to the user/customer.

I think you hit the key thing to remember right there. It heralds the concept of the "quality" of job results you receive if you let “everyone play.” That is pretty bold, but I think it speaks to the idea of subject exclusivity in search. Whether its partially human powered, reviewed - or reviewed by an AI who can read "thumbs" and other social influences - or semantic based - or completely personalized - or whatever.

zdnet.co.uk is running an interesting story about threats to google in the mobile space right now, however I think their reserves and proven strategic and executional skill will see them continue to thrive.

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Payne

. I consider myself more technical than the average person, and I am perfectly comfortable with the Windows environment. They have everything I need and it is reasonably priced. You'll see eBay going after Amazon soon and Amazon going after eBay. What if it was FREE? I go to the public records for the county/city. well Randy, it is hard to predict what will come next, and if Google will ever fall from the top, but your thoughts are always good to read about. I will keep that in mind the next time I buy.I do want to address the comment "You can easily rate a product that you didn't even buy from Amazon to help improve the personalization engine." I always like your articles (they are very readable and just browsing them lets me get the gist-- have you considered a career  in usability?) The overwhelming trend to more graphic intensive, eye candy is going to be the one to tap into. Best Chainsaw Chains for Firewood and Hardwood, US Health Care Industry Overview and Career Outlook. Beyond the Don't Be Evil rhetoric is a great company that has generally been a good actor.

But that, of course, is just my own experience/opinion.

Anyone who has ever been to a search conference should appreciate his approachability and (relative) candor. Many of the top data mining researchers have undertook the challenge and are very close to reaching the 10% improved results goal. .

"The #1 Biggest Threat to Live Search is people figuring out HOW crappy their algorithm is"

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Don't know if it was mentioned in any of the comments above, but I think one of the treats to Google's dominance not mentioned in the original post is how they continue to handle privacy.

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