Six or seven years ago I made most of my money from Yahoo! and MSN (as was) and very little indeed from Google. Last year my earnings from the first two were so small as to be below the radar but now they are producing a good third of my earnings and growing. Granted much of this is down to the fact that earnings from G have fallen but in real terms I have picked up a lot from Bing in particular; after all a top spot there is still worth more than no.15 or 20 on Google. So, personally, I will just keep flogging on. The Google ride was very nice as long as it lasted but I was making money online before G existed and I may well be still doing so when they are just a memory.
Frankly I do not believe that if Google only started up today that they would be anywhere near the leaders, let alone top dogs. Their obsession with 'brands' has made the SERPs anodyne, lifeless, and far more difficult to use for serious searching IMO, at least in the UK, and in the sometimes complex areas that I'm interested in. Frankly I'm fed up of ploughing through long lists of big companies all with little apparent expertise in the products they are flogging as affiliates for sites they sit well above, and hopefully the great British public will wake up to the fact that this emperor has thrown away his clothes. If all it takes to rank is size, there will be thousands of wannabees starting up soon who can produce more interesting results than these.
Sure, Google have invested billions in infrastructure, but are search results really that much quicker than they were before the IPO? Empires come and empires go; usually because the guys at the top forget what it was that made them into emperors in the first place.
Must get over to Bing now, I have some serious research to do tonight.