The Leading Search Engines
Like Google’s doodles that feature drawings celebrating certain dates, anniversaries and commemorating specific artists and scientists on its homepage, Bing’s background changes as well with links redirecting you to more information on Bing’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP).Ask: This search engine has come a long way from the days of Ask Jeeves when it first launched in 1996. Ask.com was founded on the original idea that you can pose a question in everyday language and get a response within the SERP. Don’t worry—Jeeves isn’t completely gone. It can still be found at uk.ask.com. Keeping with its unique question and answer model, Ask.com poses a “Question of the Day” on their homepage. Curious to know what the answer is? Just click on your answer choice and you’ll be redirected to related search terms on the SERP. You also have the option of posting a question in the “Q&A Community” where you’ll get an answer from an actual person. Google is currently powering Ask’s search results, and the ads are displayed (or syndicated) through Google’s AdWords platform.
AOL: AOL was initially launched in 1991 as American Online, and over time transitioned into a portal rivaling Yahoo! and MSN. It offers a different user interface on www.aol.com. Rather than a typical ‘blank’ search engine layout with a background image and a search bar, you get a search bar on top with news stories, headlines, weather, popular videos, featured blogs and more, closely resembling that of Yahoo’s. Like with Ask.com, Google is currently powering AOL’s search results, and the ads are displayed through Google’s AdWords platform.
2012 Search Engine Outlook and Trends
Social Media will continue to have an increasing impact on search as it mirrors the Amazon Effect. This phenomenon refers to the idea that we as consumers are more inclined to click on businesses and products that have the highest reviews, like on Amazon. With this in mind, social media’s integration will have a huge impact on consumers’ search behavior. Following Facebook and Google+, I think it’s safe to say Twitter is next. As Erez Barak mentions on Search Engine Watch, social media will also lead to the further extension of companies and brands through their employees.Location, Location, Location
With a growth of mobile search, businesses will notice when their customers are nearby and offer them enticing discounts or even freebies to get them through the door using location-based deals, search and apps (such as Foursquare). Mobile will continue to be “a critical component of cross-channel marketing programs”, according to Shawn Myers of Responsys. As consumers are increasingly on-the-go, location will play an even bigger role in search especially withregards to travel, dining-out and local shopping. According to a recent study by PewResearch, “28% of cell owners use phones to get directions or recommendations based on their current location—that works out to 23% of all adults”.