Well, it’s (almost) official, the battle for search engine traffic, and it’s associated pattern-matching potential for advertisers, will be fought amongst two giants – Google and Microsoft. There’s no ‘David’ here, just two ‘Goliaths’. Hopefully, unlike those old Godzilla versus Mothra movies, we all won’t be running screaming from the two monsters as they duke it out.
As this article in Business Week points out, the big prize here is related to data mining the search habits of the users – trying to convince potential advertisers that you have special knowledge of what people are looking for and how best the advertisers can attract them to their sites.
As of today, Google owns roughly 65% of search engine traffic, and this deal effectively gives the remaining percentage to Microsoft to help boost it’s relatively new Bing search application. In the coming months we’ll all see what the net effect of this merger will be, but in general my hope is that the presence of two giants won’t preclude some other enterprising types to conceive and build a better mousetrap.
After all, when I first found Google and adopted it as my search engine of choice almost 10 years ago, it was merely the brainchild of a couple Stanford grad students, not the looming monolith of today. Google’s minimalistic interface, fast speed – and ultimately – search effectiveness won me over. Even in the face of their ascendance to major power broker, I’ve stayed with them because generally I find what I’m looking for.
Let’s hope this newly-defined battleground doesn’t turn us all into a screaming crowd fleeing as the monsters fight.