Apparently today (01 April 2008) is the official "day without Google" day.

How did I find this out. Uhm… well, I saw the ReadWriteWeb article in a Google search results page. Oops, too late!

The concept is being championed by Alternative Search Engines — which lists the 100 top alternatives to the incumbent search behemoth. Sorry guys, while it’s a novel idea, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

It got me thinking how much many of us have come to rely on Google. I use GMail for non-business e-mail and IM, Google Analytics to track statistics for my websites, Google Reader to keep track of my RSS feeds, Google Docs to collaborate on documents, Google Alerts to flag things worth reading, Google Maps to find places in the real world, and of course Google Search to find everything else.

In fact, the thought of NOT having Google is quite a scary one… and that, in itself, is a scary thought! I guess like so many people today I’ve become pretty much institutionalised at this stage. Why? Because Google makes my life easier in so many little ways, and that’s very compelling. It makes it hard to leave behind… and the better they get at it, the harder it becomes.

Is there really a viable alternative out there that can rival the services and quality of search results Google offer at the same competitive (FREE) price? Even matching Google won’t be enough — because to entice users away from the Big G, to make it worthwhile, any competition is going to have to offer something substantially better. And from where I’m sitting right now they’re all a long way from doing that.

As for a Google free day… well, maybe next year….