Is Google a Monopoly?

March 5th, 2013 at 11:06 AM, By Farrah Kennedy  |  Updated May 21, 2013

Or are they just out innovating other search engines?

It seems there is always news of antitrust claims surrounding Google. Over the past few years the company was investigated by the FTC and European Union, among other groups. With it’s status as one of the most dominant tech companies in the world, it’s unlikely monopoly concerns will ever go away. Although Google certainly has competition from smaller search engines like Blekko and DuckDuckGo, it’s only large competitor is Bing. Bing has actively campaigned against Google by promoting anti-Google advertising (their Scroogled campaign) and filing several anti-competitive lawsuits against the company.

The Google/Bing rivalry is nothing new; the two companies have competed even before Microsoft rebranded their web search as Bing in 2009. Given this history, we dug a little deeper into antitrust accusations to determine if Google is a monopoly or if they’re simply good at rolling out new features and keeping users engaged. Our research shows that Google is overwhelmingly the first to roll out new, innovative search features. It takes Bing (including it’s previous iterations MSN Search and Live Search), on average, 840 days to catch up to Google and implement the same features.

It’s easy to understand why Google still has such a large market share. The company is clearly the first mover with new ideas and improvements to the overall search experience, but does that mean Google is a monopoly? See the results for yourself.

Is google search a monopoly? or do they just out innovate in search?
google bing
Number of days it took bing to copy google's features
Increased visibility when an author's picture shows up with the search result when authorship is enabled.
Street view, satellite view, and multiple options for directions from points A to B. Street view can now take the user inside the building, if available.
Search + social integration
When a user is socially to a site or brand, that brand tends to have a higher search result.
Site links
Multiple, relevant links meant to help users navigate the site from the search result page.
Webmaster tools
Provides detailed reports and diagnostics about pages' visibility.
Local search
Search results based on user location.
Scholar search
Use scholar search when searching for relevant work from professional societies, universities, and other academic publishers.
Broad match modifier
Allows sites to target more people searching for specific terms by widening the matching keywords.
Detailed statistics of a site's traffic, sources, and conversions and sales.
Desktop paid search management tool
Instead of making changes live, use this tool to edit ad campaigns while offline, then update when finished.
Flight search
Explore air travel options and plan trips directly from the search engine.
Search toolbar
The search bar is directly integrated with the browser's toolbar.
Product search
Internet marketplace interfaces with product queries. Search results show sites where product may be purchased.
News search
Aggregation of headlines from news sources around the world.
Paid search
Pay per click program where sites can create ad campaigns and choose keywords to target.
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