Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Is Google losing its edge in Japan?

When we think of search engines, Google immediately pops into our mind. However, will it always stay that way? A Japanese blogger notes how search engines used to include search options by date and by nation until Google began the trend of discluding them. While this simplified searching, it is inconvenient for economic news. Furthermore, another Google user notes that the same set of words searched in Japanese Google and English Google bring completely different results. English words searched in Japanese Google often come up with unhelpful and obscure results from Japanese servers, he notes.

Recently, Baidu, the third most used search engine in the world with 5% of world shares and 70% of Chinese, started its Japanese search engine. Robin Li, the CEO of Baidu announced that it would be channeling an image of “entertainment” rather than trying to compete directly with Google and Yahoo! The new search engine will focus on image and video searches, and Baidu is confident that the common culture of using characters will give it an edge over English-based search engines in refining search results. Although Baidu's unique tool of MP3 search is not included in the Japanese search engine, it remains hopeful in implementing it in the future and bloggers believe it may be Baidu's key to surpassing Google.

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