Google is the environment

The Guardian summarizes:

Rich Skrenta, co-founder and CEO of Topix.net, is fed up with hearing low numbers for Google's market share when he reckons the real number is around 70%.
Let's start by agreeing that Rich is measuring something different: search referrals, rather than searches. However, referrals is actually a more important number, in reflecting successful searches rather than failed ones. (Who cares how many searches people run if they don't click on any of the results?) [Google's true search market share is 70% from Guardian Unlimited: Technology]
Details of the analysis are at Skrentablog. I liked his concluding comment:
To paraphrase an old industry saying about IBM .... Google's not the competition, Google's the environment. [Google's true search market share is 70% (Skrentablog)]

Comments: 2

Dec 20, 2006
Chris Rusbridge

...so if Google now is the environment, what a shame they are apparently closing down their open APIs...

Dec 22, 2006
Andy Havens

I hadn't realized until recently how high the percentage of "navigational searches" being performed on the major search engines was. I read at:

http://internet.seekingalpha.com/article/20249

that: "68% of top Google searches, 74% of top Yahoo searches, and a full 86% of the top searches on MSN/Live [are navigational]."

Meaning that users aren't looking for sites based on a subject. They know what site they want to get to, they just don't know the URL or don't want to type the whole thing in; i.e., I type in "walmart" into the Google search box for that store. Or, even more telling, "staples" to go to www.staples.com, not because I'm searching for information on fasteners.

On top of the navigational issue, I have also used Google to search sites when the sites' own search engines or UI is sub-par. That would be, I guess, a combination subject/navigational search, as I'm navigating the site and the subject using Google.

If we're using search engines this much to "navigate" our online spaces now... at the beginning of the wave of user-created content, when we're just now starting to put our documents into wikis and Google Docs and YouTube... how much more will they be part of the dashboard of our experience in a few years?