Search engine wars

bing

Search engine wars

Google is still the world’s dominant search engine, but it faced its first real challengers in 2009 as smaller search companies came up with new ideas about the way people can and should find information online.

An oddball search engine called Wolfram-Alpha made big news in the spring when it debuted as a tool that calculates the answers to user queries instead of sending Web surfers to lists of Web site links, as Google does.

But the major newcomer was Microsoft’s Bing, a “decision engine” that introduced new ways to sort through photos online and to search for products. Bing quickly grabbed a foothold, gaining 10 percent of the search market by the end of the year.