Google gets a serious competitor

For some time now Google has enjoyed a dominance in the U.S and more so in the U.K. in terms of commercial search engine queries.  Over 90% of us Brits use at least Google to search for a product or service before purchasing on or offline.  But some of us are agnostic about Search Engines and are prepared to try all 3 of the big ones before making a decision.
Well that choice is soon to become 2 as Microsoft and Yahoo! announced earlier this week that they are to join forces in the Search market with Bing’s platform top power Yahoo’s search results.  That effectively means that you will get the same result on Bing or Yahoo like you do with Google and Ask’s sponsored links.

Stock markets reacted as expected with Yahoo!’s price falling and Microsoft’s lifting ever so gently on the news of the deal, which sees Yahoo! retain a sliding scale of share of search revenues over a ten year period which will effectively see the end of Yahoo! as a search engine.
It feels a bit strange.  Yahoo! was after all a pioneer of search and has been around almost since the beginning.  Their purchase of Overture in 2004 for around US$1.5 billion saw them adopt what was effectively a network arrangement to sell their listing on publishers’ websites and their brand has gone from strength to strength.  They would surely be a giant in Search if it wasn’t for those meddling Google kids!

And if you are feeling a little bit sorry for Yahoo! Search and its impending demise, spare a thought for the ex-CEO of Excite, George Bell who turned down an offer to buy Google for US$1million back in the day.  Oh dear.

What does this mean for the Search industry?
Well Google gets to play in the park with someone closer to their size.  In the U.S a combined Microsoft/Yahoo audience could equate to 30% of the market, still leaving 70% for Google.  And if you consider that the lowest yet market share of a firm considered dominant in the EU was 39.7%, I doubt Google will be worried about losing a grip on what is undoubtedly a massive monopolistic majority.

Martin Cozens, Banc Media
Banc Media provides SEO and PPC services in Manchester and nationwide.

About the author:
Martin Cozens represents Banc Media, an SEO and PPC agency based in Manchester and serving the UK.  Clients include The Edward de Bono Foundation, Orchard Group and Berg Legal.  Previously he was at Latitude Group where he occupied senior roles within client delivery and led the Partnership team in business development.  He has a breadth of experience in search engine marketing and was instrumental in establishing brand name protection in the search engine landscape for FTSE 100 companies such as Alliance & Leicester.

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