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Google Jumps The Gooveshark

Google search results define our world. To anyone, looking for anything, the first 3-4 options in a Google Search are the only sites that exist online. We all know about the latest and coolest music sites and services. The average person doesn't. If a friend doesn't tell them about Tubeify and they don't read tech blogs, they'll never hear about it. Save for a stray alert on Facebook or Twitter, most people won't hear about these sites unless they're searching for them on Google. Yes, they might Bing it too, but I refuse to accept that verb.

So what are fans finding in Google?

After a short experiment, the results were rather revealing. Whenever I searched for "music streaming", "free music", "listen to music online", "listen to music", and even just the term "listen", the results were almost identical. In these search results, Grooveshark rose to the top of the list. Every single time. Except one. beat Grooveshark once.

Given that Grooveshark recently topped Google's Zeitgeist list, maybe this isn't that surprising. However, this experiment reveals how limited the online music experience seems to most people. It's boring. There appears to be a very limited number of options to stream music. Course, the beauty of the web is that any site can spike in popularity – like Facebook did – regardless of Google rankings.

Does this mean anything? That is, aside from the fact that Grooveshark is popular. In 2011, we'll soon find out. This could be the year that the music landscape is reshaped by the likes of Google, Apple, and Spotify. In the background of these various happenings, there's the Grooveshark effect.

Suddenly, they're showing up everywhere. –By Bruce Houghton