Local search engine market is one of the fastest growing markets in India. And it definitely makes sense as we can feel the need for good local information services these days. Call it local search engines, local information services, local directory services or whatever…..at the end of the day what they tend to offer is information about any kind of local establishments starting from food outlets, companies, movie theatres, hospitals or for that matter any damn information.
And coming to the players in this segment, there are the big players like google and yahoo with their localized versions and then the startups like guruji, asklaila, yulop, justdial, ilaaka, onyomo, City Infoline and then the list just goes on 🙂 ……Now the point is who is going to end up as the winner? Is it that the big giants would eat away these startups or will these startups endup dominating the market? Whatever be the result, one thing is definite…..all of them are working towards a common goal………building a database of directory of information, which is definitely missing in India.
Now coming to all these startups in this segment, each of them has got their own set of unique features catering to a specifc segment. Some differ entirely in the way they operate. For instance, guruji is basically crawler based whereas justdial has got human gathered data and a few others having user generated data. Some cater specifically to a particular segment like food (like burrp), some cover any establishment in general. Some of them like jusdial even have a facility to call them up to find the details of any establishment, some providing the feature of SMS services and a few of them even have mobile versions of their sites (m.asklaila.com for instance) . Some just have a directory listing of the businesses and others provide a search feature. Ofcourse, there are a lot of common stuff as well in all of them.
One question that comes to my mind at this point is whether India really has such a big market size to accomodate all these new statups? And the answer I feel is definitely yes 🙂 . There is so much information out there that needs to be brought online and on top of it its all unorganized 🙁 . I sincerely hope that one day would come when users will definitely move from the existing giants like google to some of these local search engines to search for local info. Till then lets just wait and watch who’s going to make it to the top 😀