French Google, Yahoo Alike (& Loving Wikipedia)

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It is (I think) becoming public knowledge that Google has crushed all of its opponents in France – the company has a search market share of around ninety percent.  A new study is surprising, then, in that it reveals large similarities between the French versions of Google and Yahoo.

“The first link offered by Google and Yahoo is identical in 27% of cases,” reports Jean Véronis.  Véronis is the man who gathered together 70 students and put the search engines to the test.  He later continues, “Today 27% of Google’s results on the first link alone come from Wikipedia, as do 31 % of Yahoo’s.”

Despite these matches, Google scored decidedly higher in terms of users’ preferences; its 90 percent market share isn’t, it would seem, about to be toppled by that one competitor.  Yet Véronis believes the whole search engine industry might be in danger due to Wikipedia.

On this point, neither I nor John Battelle, who first noted the study, can really agree with Véronis.  He makes a an interesting assertion, though, writing, “When users come to realize that, for example using the Firefox search bar, they can search directly in Wikipedia if they want encyclopedic information, in Wikio for news and blogs, in Allociné for movies and so on, the concept (outdated, in my opinion) of the general search engine will have had its day.”

In any event, this’ll at least give us something to think about while we watch for Google to hit 95 percent in France.

French Google, Yahoo Alike (& Loving Wikipedia)
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