We regularly use the term “to google”, using it as a verb to replace “to search for online” and the vast majority of people understand what it means. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will use the search engine Google, we may use another – Bing or Yahoo for example. In fact, according to a BBC article, “Bing’s US searches rose to 14 percent in May from 12 percent at the end of 2010”. However, despite the competition, as reported in an article published in 2007, a study found that on average 90 million unique visitors use Google each day.
Google are constantly trying to keep ahead of their competitors, finding new, innovative ways to be the quickest, best, most popular search engine available. They recently added the Advanced Search option, for example, and regularly change their Google image, to reflect important dates and events, making using a search engine that little bit more exciting. (A particular favourite of mine was on Roger Hargreaves’ birthday, when a different Mr. Men drawing appeared every time you loaded Google!)
A recent development in the world of Google is Instant Pages. The introduction of this latest idea will mean that the first option in the list of results that appears when a term is searched for begins loading as soon as the search is completed. Therefore, when a user chooses the first option, the pages loads, well, instantly, rather than taking a few seconds.
Google has great aims for the internet: as Google fellow Amit Singhal commented: “We at Google will not be happy until we make the Web as easy to flip through as a magazine”. Research has proven that we as users think speed is important as well, as Amit mentioned: “What we have observed is that every time we shave 15 milliseconds from the speed, users search more and more”.
In the race (excuse the pun) to provide the best service, fighting off competition from other search engines, each company must come up with more and more innovative, exciting ideas that make using their services easy, quick and interesting, and therefore attract more and more users. The big question is, is there one search engine that is better than the others? Do so many people use Google because it is the best, or because it is the most well-known? What does the future hold for Google and other search engines? Only time will tell!
16 June 2011 17:30