Searching desi content: A Case study of Guruji.com Pallavi Upadhyaya Manpreet Singh Abstract: Internet, since its inception has been synonymous with information. As the web is growing at a very fast pace, there is an increasing need for services that provide filtered and focused information. Infomediary sites that provide free information for users and earn revenue through advertising on their site, is on rise. Search engines are infomediaries who provide value to internet users by assisting them to find the right information with minimum effort. With Google as the undisputed leader in the search market, it has been very difficult for the newcomers to get their search share on the internet. This paper discusses how Guruji has positioned itself as a search engine with a focus on Indian content. The paper outlines the search services provided by Guruji and strategies of the company to deal with mushrooming competition. The paper also discusses various methods and techniques used by search engines to ensure its wider reach. Keywords: Search Engine, Infomediary, India, Local search Introduction According to a study by Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI), there are about 45.3 million active internet users in India as on September 2008. Majority of the users (about 42 million) are urban users, the study revealed. . Searching is the most common activity on the internet after email. Every user spends on an average 20 hours a week browsing the net for data and information, including news. Out of these about 90 per cent of Internet search queries are local in nature. With more and more second and third tier cities catching up in internet accessibility and usage, there is an increasing need for providing local search services and content in local languages. The websites in local language is expected to accelerate the usage of internet by non-urban users. This trend provides huge opportunities for dot com firms to develop country specific niche content. Over the last few years, a plethora of India-centric search engines have cropped up, each carving its own niche by providing users with better answers for their local queries. Most of these are like online yellow pages and depend on data from yellow page companies like Infomedia and Getit and survive on advertising revenue. A Report by IAMAI & eTechnology Group@IMRB, reveals that the total market revenue for Search Engine Marketing (SEM) industry in India is estimated at around USD 112.5 million.  With
increased emphasis of marketers on online media for advertising and growth of specialized searches such as local business search, this industry promises high growth. Search engine market in India has seen growth of both generic and vertical or niche players. The generic search engines cover information from wider spectrum and niche players excel through deep understanding of needs of the users in their area. The differentiation is hair line with generic players entering with new services traditionally offered by niche players and niche players broadening their scope of information coverage. About Guruji.com Guruji.com is the dream of two Indian IIT graduates Anurag Dod and Gaurav Mishra, who after significant internet and search experience, started an Indian search engine aimed at the Indian web consumer. Officially Launched on Oct 12, 2006, Guruji.com is focused on providing better search results to Indian consumers, by leveraging proprietary algorithms and data in the Indian context. Anurag Dod, Co-Founder & CEO, Guruji.com said “What sets us apart is our focus on the Indian market and the Indian consumer. When an Indian consumer types in a search key word like "newspaper" the results should show him websites of the top Indian newspapers rather than other news sites which are not relevant to him.” Gaurav Mishra, Co-Founder & COO, Guruji.com explains “90% of internet search queries are local in nature, and Guruji.com will deliver better search results than any...
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