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Search Engine Weekly Report

by Milena Sotirova
January 17, 2005

The search engine week was rich on events considerably effecting the market share positions for the largest players in the industry. Keynote announced last week the results of its study about the competitive benchmarking of customer attitudes and experience at leading search engine sites.

According to the release, Yahoo! and MSN search engines are closing the gap with Google by improving the search experience for consumers and that will lead to increased usage for those sites.

The Keynote research is based on research with 2,000 consumers, monitoring and analyzing their experience with interacting with the leading web search sites. The data are based on detailed qualitative and behavioral data as users perform tasks at the search engine websites.

According to the study, Google maintains its clear leadership position in the search industry, leading the Keynote Customer Experience Rankings.

Keynote Customer Experience Rankings
 1.  Google
 2.  Yahoo!
 3.  MSN
 4.  Ask Jeeves
 5.  Lycos

Source: Keynote 

Yahoo! and MSN are noted to have significantly improved their competitiveness toward Google. Yahoo! remaining in second place across the Keynote CE Rankings significantly improved its overall user experience, launching an expanded local search service and a new search results page after the last study in May 2004, says the document. 

More than 81% of Yahoo! users and 61% of MSN users said they would return to those sites in the future, as compared to just 72% of Yahoo! users and 55% of MSN users stating so in the previous Keynote study.

MSN, remaining in third place overall also showed a significant improvement in overall user experience, according to the study. More than 47% of MSN users described the site's sponsored results as very useful in the most recent study, as compared to just 37% doing so prior to the change.

According to the survey, Google and Yahoo! continue to lead the industry in terms of user perceptions about the quality of search results.

Piper Jaffray predicts the search engine industry will generate $8.9 billion in revenues by 2007, up from $2.6 billion in 2003.

Google is setting out to expand its share of the business software market with a scaled-down version of its Internet-leading search engine that will go on sale Thursday for $4,995, announced from the company.

The Google Mini is tailored for the thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses that don't need or can't afford the more sophisticated products, said Dave Girouard, general manager of Google's enterprise search.

The second player in the search engine field, Yahoo! released this week its long anticipated, Yahoo's new Desktop Search beta. The Yahoo! Desktop Search application is now available as a beta release at http://desktop.yahoo.com.

Yahoo! Desktop Search Beta delivers search functionality not available from most other desktop search products on the market today, states from the company. The novelties include: search results spanning over 200 different file types, instantaneous search results displayed as fast as a user types in a search query, a preview window that enables users to view entire files within Yahoo! Desktop Search and the ability to find and play audio or video files without launching a separate media player.


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