Microsoft and Yahoo! Search Engine Partners? How Mergers and Acquisitions Could Alter the Sector

Till recently, there were 5 key players in the search engine planet: Google, MSN, AOL, Ask.com, and the Yahoo! search engine. These prime Net search engines quickly could be narrowed down to four, nevertheless AOL uses the Google algorithm and will yield practically identical results. Additional narrowing is quickly occurring – Ask.com appears to be stepping out of the spotlight to focus on certain markets, and in early March 2008, Microsoft began attempting to acquire the Yahoo! search engine. If there are just two leading search engines with which to be concerned, what does this mean for your organization and for Seo as a entire?

What is Going On with the Yahoo! Search Engine?

As almost anybody with access to a news source knows by now, Microsoft place in an unsolicited offer you to acquire the Yahoo! search engine in early March 2008. Yahoo! rejected this offer at initial, saying that it undervalued its company as 1 of the prime engines (and a provider of other solutions, which includes e mail and chat as properly). Microsoft did not boost the offer at this point it rather decided to enter a proxy battle.

A proxy battle would involve Microsoft placing up its personal board of directors to let shareholders make a decision if its acquire of the Yahoo! search engine would be acceptable or not. In essence, Microsoft has decided that it will attempt to convince shareholders that their interests are better served by folks who will approve this acquisition among two of the best World wide web search engines. And Yahoo! shareholders have been beaten down for some time, so it is extensively anticipated that the majority will in truth favor this acquisition.

Meanwhile, Yahoo!, on spurning this supply, started speaking with other organizations in order to create strategic partnerships and keep itself as one of the best engines, as it had been for so long. It was rumored that MySpace’s parent company, News Corporation, was in talks to perform with the Yahoo! search engine, as was Google. However, these talks appear to have fizzled, and Yahoo!’s board of directors has begun speaking straight with Microsoft’s board. Yahoo! bought a bit of time by delaying the election of its board, but it is believed that this is all the shareholders will stand for at this point.

So I am assuming that if the acquisition goes down, the Microsoft search engine and the Yahoo! search engine will likely be making use of the exact same algorithm, even if they remain separate internet sites. It just tends to make sense not to spend the cash to have two separate investigation departments, particularly when the Yahoo! search engine is broadly regarded to be superior to Microsoft’s.

Will Ask.com Continue to Be A single of the Prime Web Search Engines?

For a time, Ask.com seemed to be trying to go head to head with Google and to position itself as one particular of the top World wide web search engines – period. You might keep in mind the “algorithm” advertisements that it ran for a time on television. Nevertheless, recently Ask.com announced that it will instead be tailoring itself to the niche market share of which it already has manage. In other words, they are no longer attempting to be all issues to all individuals in the way that other prime search engines like, nicely, Yahoo! and Google are.

What we know about Ask.com’s demographic is that it is largely female, though Ask.com refutes the notion that it is focusing on “older girls.” According to an article in Forbes, an Ask.com spokesperson stated that:

…reports of the web site becoming oriented towards older women are false and were fueled by an erroneous Linked Press write-up that has given that been changed. Ask acknowledged that married women do compose a lot of its core users and these matronly queries are frequently dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia type queries – as nicely as categories like well being and entertainment (1)…

Seeing as Ask.com also laid off 8% of its staff at the exact same time that it refocused, it seems clear that the company is no longer aiming to be deemed one of the top Internet search engines.

And this signifies that we are down to two search engine technologies dominating the whole landscape: Google and a MSN/Yahoo! search engine hybrid (Micro-hoo? Yah-soft?).

How Will This Impact Shoppers?

If there actually are only two main leading World wide web search engines, the market will be like Coke vs. Pepsi. Confident there are other, smaller players like RC Cola that some men and women will be brand loyal about, but for the most portion it really is either Massive Guy One or Massive Guy Two.

And this implies that corporations that had good rankings and that were finding excellent traffic from, say, Ask.com and MSN but not the Yahoo! search engine, will be in a bind. With only two prime World wide web search engines, there will be much less actual estate to compete for and the identical number of organizations vying for this true estate.

How Will This Influence Search engine optimization Firms?

In a single sense, having only two critical engines tends to make the job less complicated for search engine optimization businesses – there’s just less algorithms to absorb and master. Even so, it makes the opportunity for volatility considerably far more likely. Ahead of, if the Google or Yahoo! search engine changed its algorithm, you had three or 4 other engines to fall back on whilst you worked to update your practices. But with only two major players, a tweak to either the Google or MSN/Yahoo! search engine algorithm could have significantly further reaching implications to person firms in the search space.

Who Will Compete Subsequent?

Google has been coasting for several years as becoming noticed as the underdog in the industry – the cool, hip engine to use that is not owned by the big guys. Even so, search engine optimization practitioners have started out to see some cracks in that veneer. The truth of the matter is that Microsoft is noticed as a enormous corporate conglomerate, with Google beginning to be noticed similarly. And now Google has to answer to shareholders, rather than just going along attempting “not to be evil.” Google has its personal set of privacy problems and conflicts of interest, such as its current buy of DoubleClick, which came along with a Search engine optimization organization. [See my recent report on this topic for far more information.]

So when there are just two leading World wide web search engines, the door is opened for competitors. If one more company can come along technologically that is on par with the Google and Yahoo! search engine algorithms and that does not have enormous corporate considerations, it could quite nicely commence gaining some marketplace share in this space. I will let you know if I see any contenders.


1. http://www.forbes.com/technology/ebusiness/2008/03/05/iac-ask-update-markets-equity-cx_md_0305markets33.html

(C) Medium Blue 2008

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