Being #3 usually sucks. People like #1 and some have learned to settle for #2. But when you're the third-most-preferred search engine, why continue competing? That's the question of the day at the Cre8asite Forums.
I see figures like 50-65% for Google. That does not leave mu[ch] for the rest. Yahoo is number 2 from far away.
Moderator eKstreme has some good insights. He suggests that one reads Don Dodge's article on why 1% of the Search Market is worth more than $1 billion. He mentions that the race is still on, especially since TechCrunch just announced that Microsoft is gaining on Yahoo.
Why do they bother? Why does anyone bother starting a business? Simply put, they believe they can do it better. The search market is about solving people's search problems.
But what else can it be? Some people say that audience is key. You might have a site that appeals to savvier users. They're likely to be using Google. Then you have the other search engines, and back to what eKstreme said, those people think that these search engines do it better than Google.
Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.