Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Alternative Search Engines Have Trouble With Money
ITFacts.biz is reporting some interesting facts about search engines:
For the week ending Oct. 30, 71% of US Web users went to the top 10 search engines, a 7% increase YTY, Hitwise reports. Collectively, five alternative search engines - Vivisimo, Clusty (property of Vivisimo), a9 (property of Amazon), Alltheweb (property of Yahoo!) and Snap - claimed only 10% of total visits to search engines and directories. Four alternative engines each delivered 7-8% of their traffic to shopping and classified ad sites, while Google, Yahoo Search and MSN Search each delivered about 10% of their traffic to such sites. Search engines a9 by contrast sent 18% of its overall traffic to shopping and classified sites, influenced by its affiliation with Amazon.com.To be completely honest, while geeks may believe they rule the web, with rare exceptions, e-commerce is the most important thing on the internet. Search engines are relied on the most when it comes to shopping, and they make most of their money from shoppers who click on their ads and buy something. One serious problem is that alternative search engines appeal to geeks and very little too shoppers, with the obvious and successful example of Amazon's A9. It's all well and good that companies want to try and innovate with engines like Clusty and Snap, but without a solid business model, even the best technology is just a waste of brains.