Search … and destroy? Nah.

New statistics published earlier this month by Hitwise show that Google continues merrily on its way to even greater heights of dominance in the search engine field.  Despite the Don Quixote-like efforts of other search engines like MSN, Ask and Yahoo to take a run at Google’s position, the latest stats show that Google’s search engine is as popular as ever.

More popular, in fact.  The numbers reveal that Google’s share of search activity has now risen to 72% versus 67% a year earlier, whereas the others continue to decline.  Yahoo is in second position, but getting 21% of search share is about on par with H. Ross Perot’s vote percentage in the 1992 presidential election – all hat and no cattle.

More startlingly bad is MSN’s performance at around 7% of search activity, because they’ve been trying hard to make a dent in Google’s position. Keep on trying, gents.  Maybe you’ll break 10% share before long, although I doubt it.

Does any of this come as a surprise?  After all, people are creatures of habit. And when a habit gets as big as this, it’s really hard to break.

Also, most people typically take the path of least resistance. And when it comes to search, isn’t Google the easiest path?  Simple visual layout … easy to use … robust results.  What’s the point of going anywhere else?

UPDATE4/1/09 – As if on cue, another search engine bites the dust.  Wikia has announced it is closing down its Wikia Search project.  Introduced to great fanfare last year, Wikia was intended to be a user-generated, open search engine.  The problem?  Wikia Search was simply not generating any sort of worthwhile volume.  In fact, traffic was running about 10,000 unique users per month.  That’s just a blip on the screen — and certainly disappointing considering the success of other initiatives like Wikipedia and Wikia Answers.  Further proof that to be first in cyberspace with a good idea and good execution is a huge advantage … and to be fourth or fifth is considerably more difficult, even fruitless.

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