Search Engine Scrutiny: An Insight into the Search Engine World

Prejushya Kalicharan

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Providing a rich user experience to their users is what all search engines aim at

Google is the top among search engines. More than occupying the first position it has become a habit. But this tech giant too has to pass tough times. Rival feud is definitely there in any industry and the search engine industry is no exception. Google’s main competitors list is never limited to Microsoft and Yahoo. Google has managed to add Apple, Amazon and Facebook to the list, and so it gets mightier than ever before. Maps were not as easy as Apple thought it would be. Even Siri, is not interesting as expected.

Survey results

comScore’s search engine rankings for the month of September reveals, Google to top the results, Microsoft falling second and Yahoo third, Ask and AOL occupying the fourth and fifth positions. Though the rankings have not shifted places, compared to August data, Yahoo’s search market share has fallen down by 0.6%, while all others have gained. It’s been speculated that no changes have been enforced into Yahoo’s search stream, since Marissa Mayer joined the company as the CEO. And, Marissa should definitely reconsider this as search contributes to one third of Yahoo’s revenue. Maybe her focus is over various other things like PG&E. Ask is bang on, not bad gaining a 0.3% for a player at the fourth place.

Google’s status

Coming to Google, studies by comScore and Compete.com clearly showcase the fact that Google has started slipping from the “great” to “good” category in the search engine world. Though the data varies a bit in these surveys, the final verdict is never favorable to Google and is in heat. Rumor mills say that Google has grown so big to make wise decisions in case of acquisitions. However it appears that summer is considered to be the reason behind Google’s least market share gain, and it normally gains back its lost percentage during winter when the overall internet usage retrieves. In case of, ad click rate, Yahoo and Bing beat Google last quarter with a 1.61% click-through rate in the U.S., whereas it was only 1.25% for the latter.

Local Search Traffic

Chitika reports that 24.24% of the Google searches are for local results, between the timeframe of September 21 and September 27, 2012. While, Bing contributes 28.81% to local searches and Yahoo has about 25.28%. Local businesses have a great chance to boost business online, and this is what the survey reveals. A majority of the local searches were sourced from mobile phones, with 74% of local searches on Google were out of smartphones. This is another evidence for a peek rise in search via mobile devices compared to laptops or PCs.

7 results per page on Google

This is no more a surprise for a Google search user. Google says that it finally needs quality results being displayed, never mind the number. Organic results are highly trusted by users than that of paid ads over the top and by the right side. However the result numbers vary with the keywords and with the industry. This 7 result style for Google search was identified only after 20 August, 2012. Possibly after a Google update that was not announced or identified. The percentage of keywords that are affected is 8%. But what about quantity, can Google compromise it for Quality? What about brand name and its visibility?

Google exploits its dominance?

Every mother’s child knows of the rivalry between Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. EU competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia, warned Google to face charges of violating EU rules. Microsoft has filed a complaint against Google for using its search clout to block rivals, abusing its dominant position in the search industry. The complaint is that Google uses its search service to direct users to its own services, reducing visibility of competing websites and services. The EU and Google have been negotiating for a while finding a solution to these allegations to avoid this turn of events. Finally the debate ended when author pronounced Google free as follows,

“It is difficult to see how anything that Google does in search and ranking algorithms is unfair. Google bases its business on developing search and ranking algorithms that facilitate consumer searches. Google would employ a particular ranking methodology only if it helps to attract and retain search engine users. Google’s competitors do the same thing, including offering specialized search. Courts have long recognized that a practice likely has “redeeming competitive virtues” when all competitors use it.”

However the case file was closed under a deal by the EU commission. The deal makes Google to brand on search results returned from its own maps, stock quotes, airline flight details or other in-house services. This dealing never seems to keep Google in a safer coat since; Mr. Almunia has stated that all the deal will take a U-turn if the talks did “not give us the results we are looking for, the elimination of our concerns in this market.”

Malicious link donors

Sophos reported that Bing and Google beat out rest of the search engines for hosting malicious links, giving a collective of 95%. Google – 30% and Bing – 65%. They term it – “Search Engine Poisoning”. Black Hat SEO practices end in bringing these malicious content piled websites to the top of SERPs. This is the reason why Google comes with frequent algorithm updates, getting users out of the jam. Users clicking through these malicious contents (especially images of celebrities) will get malware spread to their computer, and the job done successfully by hackers. With an intention to get out of these worms, they will be forced to download a scanner or tool that will finally ask them to pay $50 dollars to get the job done. Last but not the least; your credit card details are also tracked. All bad that could happen to you got done, just by trying to click through an image in your computer.

What has Bing got to say about this?

“Bing is able to detect pages consisting of machine-generated spam, keyword stuffing, redirect spam or malware, allowing Bing to effectively remove such sites from results. This is done through constant innovation on finding ways to detect the various evolving versions of the kinds of spam techniques we face. We are actively working on new filtering techniques for Image search where the majority of these malicious links were found. Additionally, signals that have been previously spammed now have countermeasures to prevent abuse. Bing has also developed several ranking signals to help weed out spam results and better understand the intent of the searcher. We are always looking to improve the Bing user experience for customers, and remain dedicated to providing a trusted and reliable search experience.”

But no statement has changed the status till date.

Finally it’s all in our hands to stay safe, far and away from spammers and hackers. Search engines certainly excel in their job delivering the best results to users, check the quality and authenticity of their results and lots of groundwork going on within their concerned teams. A little bit of caution is necessary before opening an image that is likely suspicious, and that would avoid several other problems and enrich your search experience.

 

Category :

Google

Tags :

search engines, google, SEO, search engine market share, Bing, malicious content

About Prejushya Kalicharan

Prejushya Kalicharan SEO is a challenging field and I try my best to surpass this challenging environment which is unconditionally filled with opportunities, knowledge building and problem solving. I pursue what I .... more info


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