India centric localized search engines market is saturating fast, real fast. In last year alone there must have been more than 10-15 Indian local search engines launched. Some smaller and some bigger. Some with huge funding and some with none. This space is so crowded right now that it is difficult to know who is really winning. However, I’ll attempt to put forth a brief overview of current scenario.
Before moving forward we should give some thought to following questions.
- Is India having a market size to accommodate all of them ?
- Are they different and unique enough from each other to command attention and traffic?
- What are the sources of monetization for these search engines?
- Is their search quality relevant enough to get the user move from their existing favorite search engines?
I am sure all new search engines that have launched will have answers to these questions; however, lets do some high level analysis ourselves.
Here are some of them who fall in the localized Indian search engine category.
Guruji, Justdial, Tolmolbol, burrp, Dwaar, onyomo, khoj, nirantar, bhramara, gladoo, lemmefind.in along with Ask Laila which launched a couple of days back. Also, you do have your localized versions of big giants Google, Yahoo and MSN.
Each of these Indian search engines have come forward with some or the other USP. It is too early to pass a judgment on any of them. These are testing stages and every start-up is adding new features and making their services better. Only time will tell who survives
However, let’s look at where each of them stand as of today. I tried to get Alexa figures for all of them. Although, Alexa figures cannot be depended upon, it is good for comparison, as the profiles of users searching will be similar for most of these search engines.
As per Alexa, Some search engines do not seem to get even few hundred hits a day; few of them however have some moderate amount of traffic coming in. Here are the top 5 based on the page views they get.
Justdial cannot really be compared to others because they have a completely different model. Most of their users are the ones who have already used their phone services, which are actually quite a lot. Also, their search results are not based on crawlers. This is human gathered data, so it is near perfect. Your search will either lead you to exactly what you want or nothing. According to me, their online + brick & mortar model has most ingredients to be the winner.
burrp! is catering to a niche segment. They provide you search results pertaining to local food joints, caterers, bakeries and host of other food related businesses etc. They also have got a quite a bit of media coverage, and seem to be doing well in their niche.
Tolmolbol is more of a localized search portal catering to different segments and offering various services. I really cannot comment on them as yet, I guess it is too early for them to make any impact. They too have got a bit of coverage in blogosphere.
Dwaar is another generic Indian search engine in Guruji mold. I tried a search “Pune properties” as a sample and found quite a few relevant searches. So seems to hold some promise.
One interesting thing I have noticed is that in last 3 months, I have not received any traffic from any of these Top 5 search engines for any of the keywords, whereas I get few hundreds from local Indian versions of Google and yahoo every day. Don’t these crawlers like my blog or they have yet to find me :)
One Indian search Engine called lemmefind.in was the only search engine that has sent me some traffic. I would be interested to know the traffic other bloggers are receiving from them.
Are there any more search engines in Pipe line ? I hope not !