United we stand (Yahoo and Microsoft)
News has broke that Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion. Yahoo was once the giant of the Internet but has been struggling since the rise of Google. Microsoft, while dominating the operating system and office software markets, has failed to make any sort of dent in the online world. Microsoft and Yahoo have already been working together in the past few years in an attempt to claw back some market share from Google.
Will Google be worried?
I very much doubt it. Google is so far ahead that Microsoft and Yahoo have got a massive mountain to climb. Not only does Google totally dominate the search market, but they are also extending their reach. Their online applications like Gmail, Google docs, Google Base, Webmaster tools, Google Earth and Google Maps are far superior to anything that Yahoo and Microsoft have achieved of late. The Google products are actually cutting edge and exceptionally good. And they are getting better.
The best chance that Yahoo and Microsoft have is to concentrate on building a better search engine then Google. That is where Google's wealth comes from. Beat Google Search and you beat Google. With close to 90% market share in the UK and 60% in the USA, it is no easy task. But Microsoft at least have made improvements to their search engine. Perhaps with the addition of Yahoo technology and expertise, they just might be able to make it better the Google search, or at least as good.
One thing is for sure, if they do manage it, Internet users and businesses will be the better for it. Google will no longer be able to abuse its near monopoly position by increasing Adwords rates beyond reason. There might actually be healthy competition in the search engine market. We might have some choice. That will be a very welcome day for all of us who rely on search engine traffic.