NYTimes highlights a key challenge of trying to use technology to beat Google. Sure, other search engines may come up with different, new and maybe by some standard, better technology, but what they won't have is Google's stickiness. Google isn't so much a search engine as it is a sense of habit.
Even though other search engines are one click away, part of Google's competitive advantage is that have managed to create a psychological bond with consumers that keeps them hooked.
Here's part of the NYT's take on the issue:
More important, successful companies succeed for many reasons in addition to the quality of their products. When a technology start-up begins to do well, it is like a snowball rolling downhill, as technology, packaging, marketing, sales, customers, developers, brand reputation and a lot of luck bind together to create momentum that then feeds on itself.
Back to Microsoft: There are lots of people who believe that there are better operating systems available today than Windows. The question is, how very much better do they have to be, and what else needs to happen, to unwind the self-reinforcing ecosystem that lets Microsoft dominate the PC business? Windows now is just one of Microsoft’s products.
Better Search Doesn’t Mean Beating Google - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com