What would you buy if the margin account in your stock porfolio was as big as Google's? Internet search, and internet search alone, is responsible for the size of that margin account. Certainly, orkut
To understand the board game "reversi" is to understand the internet and the business of internet search. You could be #1 and then suddenly, while you were busy on a quixotic quest to "defeat microsoft", some small, unknown player comes out of nowhere
and suddenly, the board is all white where it used to be black
Changing your favorite search engine isn't anything like switching from Windows to the Mac. It takes about 30s to change your search. In any browser.
There's no question that Google is fatcat in search at this time. Nevertheless, all the search engines retrieve good results and fast. I'm sure this could be argued 'ad-nauseum', but there is no objective measure of search result "relevancy". It is subjective.
In fact, when I want a fresh perspective on something, I always turn to either http://search.yahoo.com/
Google's tendency toward censorship does not bode well for a global internet site. In addition to censoring results in China, Google's archives of internet news are highly treated as well. nntp is dead. long live nntp!