I started using Google in 1999. I did so on the recommendation of fellow I.T. workers who'd heard about the service. It was only 2-3 years later that those clued-up, plugged-in 'reporters' and 'journalists' really started making Google's discovery their own. That's when 'Google' became a verb.
Back then, it was technical geeks that were the 'sneezers' - to use a Cutts-ism. It was the 'sneezers' that made Google mainstream (them, plus a great product).
Webmasters are the 'technical geeks' or 'sneezers' of the search industry. If you start telling your friends and family about all of the alternatives, of which now there are many, you can be sure that in a couple of years the journalists will catch on. Google will then have to compete on results, and not just habit.