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10 Companies Who Tried to Compete with Google & Failed Miserably

10 Companies Who Tried to Compete with Google & Failed Miserably

The Goliath that is Google has grown to almighty proportions. Some ambitious companies though have tried to topple them and have predictably failed. Here are 10 such fallen Davids.

1. Wolfram Alpha

Well, they didn’t try to compete with Google in the overall search space but computational knowledge (which is a big part of what people search on Google). Google responded with their Google Squared application. From being a hot trend several months ago, Wolfram Alpha is slowly dying off.


Status: Still in existence

2. Cuil

Cuil was also being promoted as a “Google crusher” but in reality, it wasn’t anywhere close to it. They boasted an index size of several billions pages…so what? We don’t want quantity, we want quality.


Anyway, several days later, Google came up with a claim that they index around a trillion pages which basically crushed the Cuil claim and deprived people of the only reason they had of using it.


Status: Still in existence

3. Microsoft Live Search

Microsoft’s sick old search engine that predated Bing, nobody really used Live Search. Its market share steadily declined till the launch of Bing, although we still don’t know whether Bing’s increasing market share is because of a temporary trend or because people have started to prefer Bing over Google. Bing is features in this list of people search engines by the way and seems really good for finding people.


Status: Dead

4. Wikia Search

Wikia was launched by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales in attempt to use human collaboration to create better search results. The idea failed miserably and after 2 years, Wales gave it up.


Status: Dead

5. AllTheWeb

AllTheWeb was all about conducting specialized searches and displaying real-time news (a feature that Google at that time was struggling with). But that was back in 2002. In 2010, AllTheWeb receives 10000 times less visitors than Google and all you see in its search results are sponsored ads at the top and ordinary results after that. Another big fail.


Status: Still in existence


Back in 2008, news spread that is the ‘upcoming Google killer’. The owners declared that Ask is ‘more intuitive’ than Google, in addition to other similar BS claims. However, just optimism and enthusiasm gets you nowhere on the internet and today, has taken another (more realistic) route of being specifically a Q&A type of search engine.


Status: Still in existence

7. Powerset

Powerset was launched back in 2008 as a service that used Wikipedia and Freebase as search sources. Unfortunately, nothing changed much after that and its search capabilities remain very limited. One of the reasons behind its failure might have been its speedy acquisition by Microsoft soon after it was launched, which meant that perhaps Microsoft was more focused on developing LiveSearch and then Bing, than focus on 2 projects in the same time.


Status: Still in existence

8. MyLiveSearch

Nobody really knows what happened to them. There was a big buzz about MyLiveSearch back in 2007. Their promise was to search the entire web in real time and not build an index like Google. After the launch of the beta, the feedback wasn’t so positive and from then on, it seems to have gotten stuck in an eternal “development stage”. So I’ll mark their status as dead.


Status: Dead

9. Yahoo Search

The mighty has officially fallen and is now powered by Bing search results. Yahoo, although still a huge company, also got pummeled by Google in the search engine arena.


Status: Dead

10. Yauba

Yauba tried to use one of Google’s weaknesses, which is supposedly privacy. They launched as a ‘privacy safe ‘search engine, but to put it simply, their search results sucked. Yauba still exists but is barely surviving.


Status: Still in existence

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