Currently, Google occupies a whopping 93% of all public, global search for its caches of the Internet. That accounts for approximately 3.5 billion searches per day amongst the Internet’s 3.9 billion users that grows 10% per year. However, Google’s reported ‘lack of compliance’ continues to rack up billions in annual fines from the EU, and their reputation of being a monopoly and conducting search engine manipulation continue to hammer its market share amongst new generations who are demanding greater privacy for their Search and their Locations.
Though Google dominates much of public web search, it surprisingly has a very small footprint in private applications for Search, other than the familiar, small-business website search bar (which, ineffectively, filters the business results). Private search systems are typically acquired (TheFind), licensed (FourSquare or Yahoo!) or hand-built by and independent software developer to aggregate their own site’s data, as well as manage datasets for B2B clients (Elastic).
Such privately-built well-known search engines are Linked-ins (which fuels its social media site), Amazon’s product search engine (which actually accounts for 50% of all ‘product-related searches’ as opposed to Google’s 35% in the US), Zillow’s location-centered search engine (which focuses on real estate listings) and on and on. Privately-built search engines can begin small, serve a basic purpose and grow to become platforms that have clear definitive rules for their search, which in turn created an ecosystem that gains trust from the user.
Of course, just because a search engine is privately-built, doesn’t mean that it is ‘privacy-centered.’
Recent growth of public search engine alternatives such as DuckDuckGo show that privacy-centered Search Engines are gaining traffic with more and more people who want to seamlessly search across multiple devices and ecosystems, without leaving a footprint for data miners and/or potentially jeopardizing their own GDPR-compliance. Moreover, DuckDuckGo, which currently has less than ½ percent of market share for public Search, has been profitable and thriving. The only problem with DuckDuckGo, in our opinion, is that it’s too traditional, and too 2D.
Based on all trends, Augmented Reality, smart cars, smart cities, drones and social geo-based apps will require robust search engines (geo-spatial and GDPR-compliant ones) that allow for search results to be viewed or accessed in 3D, at the right altitude, safely and responsibly, with all privacy rights considered.
Article by Eitan Chamberlin, Founder & CEO of Stops.com, Ltd.