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Top 5 Google Killers -- That Didn't

Who would want to kill this cute search engine?

Screenshot by HowStuffWorks.com

Whenever a product establishes itself as the dominant force in its particular market, people will be on the lookout for the next product or organization to push it off the top of the heap. It's the classic David versus Goliath story -- even if the Goliath is a product everyone likes. In the technology industry, it's not unusual for journalists and bloggers to refer to the upcoming product as a killer.

The technology blogosphere is filled with discussions about various killers. There are Apple iPhone killers -- the Palm Pre and HTC G1 both made that list. Then there are the various operating systems said to be Windows killers. But there's one Web Goliath that seems to collect more Davids than any other: Google.

Google began as a project headed by Stanford graduate students Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Their goal was to create the most powerful, accurate and comprehensive search engine on the Web. Their hard work paid off -- today, many people refer to the act of performing a Web search as "googling."

As the company grows, so too do the aspirations of the people behind Google. The company's mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" [source: Google]. It's telling that the mission doesn't specify online information -- Google's mission extends beyond the boundaries of the Web.

But Google isn't the only search engine game in town. Several companies and developers have created Web search tools. Some have even admitted to setting their sights on Google. Others say they're just trying to create a product that works well. And a few claim that their work isn't meant to compete with Google at all. We'll look at five Web products that journalists have described as Google killers.

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