ergophobe - 12:19 am on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)
Planning today for Google to go away in a year as the dominant player is like planning in 2001 for Microsoft to become irrelevant within a year.
You reach a certain level of momentum where it takes a lot to bring you down. Even if a vastly superior algorithm came out today, it would take years for Google to lose it's top spot on the podium (like 2-3 years, not 10-20 or course). How can I be so sure?
1. The internet in general is becoming more mature and the pace of change is slowing. Most big shakeups are additive (Twitter, Facebook), rather than two companies going head to head and knocking a Google or an Amazon down.
2. My neighbor still uses MSN as his main portal because that's what came as the default on his computer. As a Google survey showed, most people don't know the difference between a search engine and a browser. This also creates inertia.
And finally, any algorithm for the foreseeable future is likely to include some version of page rank.
Now, if your question were "Will Google be here in ten years?" I would have to take my swami turban off and say "Who knows? Ten years is a long time".
That's my 2 cents anyway... and probably overpriced at that ;-)