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Thursday, August 19, 2004

Search on
I just started wondering what I would do if Google started charging for searches, even if its a meagre amount, say 1 cent for every 10 searches, On an average day I use Google at least 15-25 times. This would translate to about $8 a year, an amount I wouldn't mind paying. I am also quite sure that if such a situation ever arises they would have some feature for unlimited searches for an annual fee too.

In my opinion several people will still continue to use Google, for the simple reason that it is one of the rare cases where the second best is miles away in competition (I personally feel Yahoo holds that spot). Microsoft has successfully used to this idea to thwart the plethora of Open Source OSs (I won't even get into the academic discussion of which is better, I am talking solely from a usability point of view). If you are considerably better than your closest competitor you can charge money and still get away with it on the web. Sadly, other services like e-mail etc have not managed to do that because most services are comparable and companies would run the risk of loosing their loyalists to others (remember usamail) by making them spend the bucks.

The interesting thing with search however is that its a web based service. So you don't have to be completely loyal to it, unlike your OS. So if a search service starts asking for money, people will always try first with the free service(s) and if unsatisfied, will revert back to the paid service. I am trying to think in how many of my daily searches I actually need (use) the true power of Google and I don't have a defnitive answer. Anyways!

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