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Internet search hits new frontiers, as competition, start-ups add frills

business Updated: Jul 24, 2009 20:55 IST
Ruchi Hajela
Ruchi Hajela
Hindustan Times
Internet search hits new frontiers

Have you searched Internet search lately? The old keyword-based jump to dig up treasures from the World Wide Web is getting hotter and smarter. Search based on local listings, collaborative search, number-crunching and links to social media tools like Twitter are revolutionising search.

Old warhorse Yahoo is struggling, but a decade-old champion Google began to take note last month when Microsoft’s Bing made a spunky start. Indian startups like and are shaking up the scene with focused search businesses.

“It is a fun competition with Google,” Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman said Friday at a conference while talking about Bing. “When you are a distant two, you have to try harder. Who knows we can make it better and faster than anybody else.” Bing has picked up a 5 per cent global user share in a short while.

“The content available on the web is increasingly dynamic, and customers are regularly looking for text, audio, video and image content. Hence we built Bing to provide better return results that include all of the above content types,” said Rishi Srivastava, consumer and online marketing officer at Microsoft India.

Google, not resting on its laurels, is adding more depth. “For instance, we are adding directions on maps,” said Vinay Goel, country head, products, at Google.

According to Pune-based Komli Media’s research, Google Search is the top search engine in India with about 32 million users in June followed by Yahoo with 7.57 million users.

Users can compare differences between search results delivered by Bing and Google at
Microsoft has launched a service called BingTweets that combines social networking site Twitter’s trends with Bing results.

Similarly, also “eavesdrops” on social conversations to give you focused search results.

Bangalore-based AskLaila offers local business listings in 12 major cities like Delhi and Mumbai and plans to scale it to eight more cities.

“We are not a research service like a Google or Bing but our users usually express an intent to buy,” Kiran Konduri, AskLaila co-founder, told Hindustan Times.

Others like focus on travel-related search. Alternatively,, founded by IIT-educated Raj Singhal, helps groups collaborate on search.