War of the search engines

The battle to reign over internet search tools has gone into high-gear as companies mount multi-billion dollar campaigns to one-up each other … or buy each other out.

    Search engines continue to try and one-up each other

    Microsft's failed attempt to buy Google is another sign of the growing popularity of the privately-owned king of search engines.

    In just five years it has become one of the world's most recognised brand names, its name synonymous with searching. "To Google" has now become the equivalent of "to search" on the internet.

    But much larger and richer Yahoo and MSN.com are spending heavily to catch up, recruiting hundreds more engineers to develop the algorithms and programs which underlie search functions.

    In addition, in July Yahoo paid $1.6 billion to take over Overture, the leader in placing targeted, search-related advertisements on websites.

    Google, the California-based firm whose quirky name has become synonymous with on-line searches, has now moved towards a long-awaited initial public stock offering.

    It is expected to raise at least $2 billion in the offer early next year that some analysts believe will be used to defend its place as the Internet's favourite search engine.

    That is believed to have pushed cash-rich Microsoft to sound out Google over a buy-out.

    Microsoft rebuffed

    The New York Times reported last week that Microsoft's overture for a partnership or buyout was rebuffed by the much smaller Google.

    Google is the most popular search
    engine for internet users

    But Microsoft recruited more experts to build its own engine, and is thought to be eyeing smaller search engine companies, analysts said.

    Google's plan to go public is seen by some experts as an effort in part to shore up the company against this challenge.

    The internet's three titans - Yahoo, America Online and Microsoft's MSN.com - are all pushing hard to develop their own search functions to snatch market share from Google.

    At stake is the hot market for targeted advertisements which accompany search results.

    With about 500 million online searches taking place daily, the targeted ad business is predicted to generate more than seven billion dollars annually within four years.

    Search engines that allow users to dig through billions of internet pages for a specific topic have been around for a decade and web advertising has existed for nearly as long.

    But only in the past two years have the two come together.

    Advertisers like the mechanism because the ads reach only their target audience and they only pay a fee when the user clicks on their ad. For each click-through ad, the advertiser pays the search engine website from 15 cents to $50.

    Both Yahoo and Google are developing their own shopping sites with comparative pricing functions in a bid to muscle in on the market, while Google has launched a test of its shopping search tool, called Froogle.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.