March 30, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – Google’s search engine rules the online marketing world, with almost 70 percent of the American market share (and a similar percentage in most other countries, as well).

As most online marketers know, one of the reasons why Google is able to keep its world-famous search engine at the top of the game is constant revisions to exactly how it works.

“This year, Google will introduce 550 or so improvements to its fabled algorithm,” wrote Steven Levy in a special Google profile for Wired. “For years, the Silicon Valley monolith has used its mysterious, seemingly omniscient algorithm to, as its mission statement puts it, ‘organize the world’s information.’

“But over the past five years,” Levy continues, “a slew of companies have challenged Google’s central premise: that a single search engine, through technological wizardry and constant refinement, can satisfy any possible query.”

Levy cites Facebook as a big threat. Facebook’s central premise, that people would rather get info from their friends and family than through anonymous Internet searches, has taken hold remarkably quickly. In fact, it was reported last month that, for the first time, Facebook had surpassed Google as American’s most popular website.

There’s also Bing, Microsoft’s upstart search engine that has dreams of beating Google at its own game (or maybe by rewriting the SEO rules). Though Bing still trails Google significantly, it has been steadily increasing its popularity recently.

Bing’s hip design, “along with a $100 million ad campaign, helped boost Microsoft’s share of the US search market from 8 percent to about 11 — a number that will more than double once regulators approve a deal to make Bing the search provider for Yahoo,” Levy writes.

Even without this competition, Google would likely still pay exacting attention to its search engine algorithm and make sure it’s regularly updated. Levy’s article offers a fascinating dissection of some of the ways that happens, along with a side-by-side comparison of some search engine searches between Google and Bing; and it goes behind the scenes like few others have done to describe just how Google is constantly changing its metrics. Check it out here.

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