This new article came out and was posted at WebmasterWorld by Brett Tabke that said "But 60% of Google users said they would switch search engines if a better service were introduced." Currently, of that study, 48% use Google as their main engine, so for 60% of those people to say they would drop Google if something better came along is huge.
People can compare Google to AltaVista back in the day. Where is AltaVista now? Yahoo bought them and they are cannibalizing its technology to make the new and improved Yahoo! Search. But AltaVista never had the brand name and the reach Google has today. Google is synonymous with the word Web search, just like Kleenex is synonymous with tissues. That is something really hard to change. "I'll Google that word and get you the answer boss." "My home page is Google." "Where would I be without Google?" These are all statements I hear now and then by average Web users.
Ok, so you buy other brands of tissue paper. You buy the generic brand even though Kleenex is synonymous with tissues. But would 60% switch if a new engine came out that was better then Google? Well what is "better"? Less spam? More relevancy? Google isnt bad with either of the two. Plus relevancy is in the eyes of the beholder. I know many people in the education industry use Teoma because Teoma's results and tools are more focused on research. But Google is more focused on the public.
Take Apple computers for example, I know I can buy a more powerful Windows machine but I am a die hard Apple fan. I take the brand, the look, the design and the power of my PowerBook into consideration. I am proud to be an Apple computer user. Are you proud to be a Google user? That is the question.
Pick up the discussion at the SearchEngineWatch Forums.