The answer: 66%, Google’s February market share (US). It seems that, no matter how hard competitors were to try, Google’s position seems untouchable. The most disappointing part is the fact that they don’t even seem to be trying in the first place.
Let’s take the Yahoo!/AOL merger scenario as an example. You’d think that, under such circumstances, they’d give it 110% in order to at least try to get close to Google, but guess what? In case that happens, they will most likely be focusing on other aspects and let the folks over at Google take over. And, since Google owns 5% of AOL, I’m sure most people who have been around the block for a while would not be surprised to see something like that happen.
And, while it seems that Ask.com are not abandoning the idea of being a search engine, they will be focusing on their core audience and, as such, are, at this point, not what one would call an important variable as far as the search equation is concerned. Aside from that, they have other issues to take care of as well, since they’ve started to lay off employees and, no matter from which perspective you choose to analyze the situation, things are far from being perfect over at Ask.com.
The only company which seems to still be interested in making Google fight for their market share is Microsoft, but, even though they are working on a series of innovations, the attitude of their CEO Steve Ballmer is not exactly all that convincing. I don’t know about you, but I’d expect a “we’ll crush them” attitude from a company such as Microsoft rather than seeing them basically admit that Google seems to be invincible.
Having competitors basically throw in the towel is not exactly healthy and, while Google is a company which deserves credit for their contribution to the Web, their current domination seems like too much and, if things continue in this manner, the market will, without a doubt, have to suffer.
Personally, I could care less who the biggest player is, as long as the company in question has to fight for that market share and deserve it. And, unfortunately, that’s not exactly the way things stand at this point.