The most recent stat depending on where you look has Google holding about 65% of peoples first choice for search.
However there are few up and coming search alternative that may be making a strong impact on the search business very soon. Why? Because Google even in it’s giantism is not able to effectively develop other areas of search. Maybe as in many large companies, it’s because of it’s sheer size. Even though their buying power is vast it is not always able to easily integrate new ideas and technologies into well established systems. You have to be more careful of breaking things when making changes (thus beta testing) Or sometimes it’s just market expectations and responsibilities that prevent more radical changes, which are so easy to implement in a startup stage company.
Below is a short list of alternative search options. You may be surprised at what is in store for search, just around the corner. It may be coming from something else other than Bing or Yahoo.
Blekko – I talked to these guys during there launch at Pubcon. Free T-shirt…yeh! Pretty cool seo stats. Their mission is to basically get rid of spam and to make search more relevant to the user by using slash tags.
Duckduckgo – This search is very similar to Google Instant where a user can search for relevant information without having to click on search results.
Greplin – is a search engine that can search and index social services and applications such as Gmail, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and many others.
Wayjam – is a search tool that is also driven by social data. The difference is that Wajam personalizes results by being a browser extension to the major browsers, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome and Safari.
Quora – has a mission to answer users questions on just about any topic. Questions are organized by category and like Blekko it is mostly user driven.
For more detailed information, check out website magazine.
While I am still a big Google fan I think it’s good to see these alternatives coming into the market that will eventually help improve our search experience. If you try these let us know what you think and if these new search tools actually add value your search experience.