Bulgarian internet is getting bigger and mature. Many statistics prove that fact. Millions of web users are now online. Thounsand and hundreds of thousands of websites are serving their needs. Still, Bulgarian search engines are nowhere to be seen on the scene….
Currently there are two search engines with their own search bots – www.krasta.com and www.paiak.com.
Krasta.com claims to have indexed 179 192 pages only. Its index has not increased for six months and its bot is showing zero activity. This is in complete contrast to it’s previous behavior. Its official counter shows an average of 300 visitors per day. This engine, a one man project, is not showing any signs of life.
The second one, Paiak.com, has 411 028 pages in its index, as stated on its front page. It is also showing zero spider activity and the number of indexed pages has not changed in the past six months, even though it used to increase its index size on a regular basis. There are no publicly available statistics about the usage of this search engine, but it is even less popular than Krasta.com. This project, released in year 2002 by BG WEB Ltd., also seems like a dead one.
You may already be asking yourself “How is this possible?”. There are two big reasons for this situation:
Reason number one – Google: Google is the preferred search engine for most Bulgarian speaking users. Its rivals, Yahoo and MSN, are falling well beyond both in terms of popularity and usage. The reasons for this are complex, but one is visible for all – Google has a Bulgarian language interface. There is also the lack of competition in Bulgarian internet. The development of a search engine, capable of outperforming Google in terms of quality and quantity, would be a great challenge now. Besides, Bulgarian internet market is not big enough to provide the financial background for a search engine of Google’s class at this time.
Reason number two – portals. When it comes to finding information in relatively small quantities of data, portals seem to do the job. There are three very popular web portals in Bulgaria, each offering free registration for all types of websites. The first and the second one in terms of popularity – www.dir.bg and www.gbg.bg are driven by small editorial staffs that are responsible for reviews of submitted sites. Both are offering paid listings as well, which guarantee premium position in directory search results. www.start.bg is a whole another story. It is an editor driven directory like DMOZ. However, there are some crucial differences between them. Start.bg editors are not getting paid directly, but they have the right to publish up to 5 sponsored links and one banner on each of their categories as a compensation for their hard work.
For now the big players in Bulgarian internet – Google and web directories are the first choice of option when it comes to information search. However, there are signs of a possible change in Bulgarian internet climate. www.gbg.bg , also known as Giuvetch, have started showing Google search results for its main search option instead of its directory results nearly an year ago. This means they are not depending on their directory any more. Could this be a sign for the end of Bulgarian directories? It is very questionable given the fact that Start.bg is getting more popular every day, but things are still to happen in Bulgarian internet…