This Czech search engine was beating Google until recently. It says Google isn’t playing fair

Seznam is an internet search company whose algorithms are built on the Czech language. It launched in 1996 in Prague, with about 50,000 Czech koruna (about $2,200) in funding. Early versions of displayed a list of popular Czech sites—seznam means “list” in Czech—as well as a summary of Czech news.

The defeat of Seznam on its home turf demonstrates just how difficult it is to compete with Google in its core business of search. Former Seznam CEO Michal Feix, who now consults for the company, says that Seznam first noticed Google gaining rapidly around 2010, as search traffic shifted from desktop to mobile. The change was particularly notable at the Christmas holidays, he said, as consumers unwrapped new Android mobile devices that came pre-loaded with Google search apps.

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