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Old 10-08-2007   #1
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Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

I reviewed an article at NYT that suggests the major search engines are buying other companies to offset dropping time spebnt on the search engines. I think the action is right but the reasons given for them are a little too simplistic.

Anyone have an opinion?
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Old 10-09-2007   #2
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

If you want to build the perfect search engine and the "perfect search engine, understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want" you need a way to provide lots of different stuff in lots of different formats and on lots of different devices to lots of different users all over.

By it's very nature, the perfect search engine would reduce the amount of time users spend searching, at least on a query by query basis.

At $600+ a share I don't think Google is buying companies to offset dropping time users spend searching short term. They could throw in some extra page views, advertisements and/or slow down the system! Buying long term revenue, ad real-estate and/or content perhaps but, all in pursuit of perfection. I see this more as picking up pieces of the perfect search engine as they move forward.

Oh well, my two cents!
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Old 10-09-2007   #3
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

I think the reasoning is wrong actually. It may be a "passing thought" or "fear" from the engines but think of it from a corporate point of view.

Does buying up aQuantive, DoubleClick, Orkut, YouTube, and all that stuff offset dropping usage times in search engines? It makes more sense that these are business units with either existing cash flow or are potential media platforms with potential revenue stream.

That being said, while NYT is a respectable publication, I think plenty of their journalists have MUCH to be desired when it comes to accurate and insightful writing. I would trust the Wall Street Journal more when it comes to business, business op ed, and the search industry.

Also to keep in mind is that Wall Street is only interested in Google, Yahoo, and MSN search because of the "search wars" and because Google keeps MAKING MONEY! At $600 a share, anyone who bought Google in August during the dip at $475 is utterly rolling in the money (flossin' and bossin').

But the Street KNOWS that Google's main revenue stream is advertising. Speaking advertising dollars is very familiar to Wall Street. The Street keeps talking about the rise of Google and Internet Advertising - next to the falling advertising revenue of network television and newspapers.

This is important to Wall Street because they are interested in investing in companies that make money. Google makes money. When you are in a position with money, you have the luxury of buying other business units to help increase revenues - which is why Google buys business units and platforms that are or will be revenue generators.

Google dumped Orkut. It didn't work for them. They couldn't make it work and couldn't incorporate the technology.

Yahoo and MSN is forced to play catchup with Google because of the "search wars".

Also, a fundamental shift that seemingly few people are grasping is that search engines are becoming MEDIA PORTALS and that search is fast becoming - if not already - a commodity (haven't you heard of non-search industry people say "Google it"?)

Those of us in SEO should already see the plethora of people bemoaning "why won't the search engines rank my site" as if it was their constitutional right to be ranked - again, a commodity attitude.

Google and Yahoo are moving towards making themselves into the portal/hub for media consumption, albeit from different POVs.

Google's philosophy is provide tools to search media of all types: youtube, google earth, etc.

Yahoo's approach is to originate media and connect itself as a digital playground: Yahoo music, Yahoo answers, Yahoo finance (better than Google finance), etc.

At the same time, Google seems to be the most progressive pursuing technologies. Perhaps Google really DOES see Microsoft as the threat? Their pursuit of on-demand software companies and technology points to them making a bid attack Microsoft. This is clearly beyond search. The reasoning behind this is probably a LOT more visionary than NYT's reasoning of lower search usage time.
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Old 10-09-2007   #4
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

Great comments guys. You have love the "Giant Killer" approach many main stream journalists have towards Google et al.
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Old 10-09-2007   #5
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

I really like discussions like this. I would love to see more conversations like this. This is another reason why I think we in the search industry can be active investors. We all should know Google is a winner (just tooo rich for me).
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Old 10-09-2007   #6
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

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Originally Posted by cryptblade View Post
I really like discussions like this. I would love to see more conversations like this. This is another reason why I think we in the search industry can be active investors. We all should know Google is a winner (just tooo rich for me).
I got in at $103.... just wish I had bought more.
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Old 10-09-2007   #7
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

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I got in at $103.... just wish I had bought more.
I am soooo jealous of you. Really, truly am.

I got into Omniture at $14. I got a good number of it. Got in early in the year. Over 100% return, so I definitely can't complain about that.

but am sooooo jealous of you with Google.
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Old 10-09-2007   #8
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

see what you can do about getting in on Alibaba - going public out of HK
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Old 10-09-2007   #9
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

Any way you can list the link of the article? I wonder if the author actually has a clue about business? The more I think about it, the more I'm astounded that anyone would think or assert that the engines are buying other businesses because of a perceived lower search usage time.

Take 1 look at the purpose of public corporations it's to raise LOTS of capital for big ticket acquisitions and purchases. It's not to get rich. Public companies fall under a LOT of scrutiny. It's worse and more expensive to be a public company. But, public companies can raise lots of capital for acquisitions - which is what the engines are doing. All three major engines are public and all three are interested in making more money - hence acquisitions to increase cash flow.
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Old 10-09-2007   #10
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

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Originally Posted by cryptblade View Post
Any way you can list the link of the article?
Yeah, that would be great!
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Old 10-09-2007   #11
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/tech...in&oref=slogin
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Old 10-09-2007   #12
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

If you can't get to it through that link try the blog entry in our blog section from yesterday.
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Old 10-09-2007   #13
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

I think I got through half of it before I was ready to break the screen at the idiocy of the article. It sounded like the ramblings of an inane moron like Steve Rubel ("folksonomy!"). It was full of new buzzwords like "user generated media" "social networking sites" and "blogs".

Some of the people quoted reminds me of 2004-2006 with all the talk of "LOCAL SEARCH IS GRRRREAT!" - but never materializing to much. 2004 was a big year of annoyance - BLOGS, RSS FEED ADVERTISING, OH MY!

This article was actually very annoying to read because it fails on so many levels. It's main argument - though not fully realized til the last 3 paragraphs of the article - is based on the acquisitions of YouTube and the ad networks: DoubleClick, RealMedia, etc. (surprising that Tacoda was mentioned but not aQuantitive???).

A very poor article overall and completely misses the mark. Public companies such as GOOG, YHOO, MSN and AOL (eh-hm, Time Warner) are public for a reason: to gain investor cash to expand. And EXPANDING a business means acquiring assets to help increase REVENUE.

Hence, destination websites such as YouTube, Myspace, etc. captures audience's attention, ergo, potential advertising platform.

A better observation would have been - how long does it take because consolidation contraction hits super saturation and requires fragmentation?

We see this with network television - SAW IT; this is why CABLE seems to outperform network television. After all, specialized networks like the Food Network, the History Channel, BET, etc. gains more specialized and dedicated audience. That means greater attention span, greater loyalty, etc. Why would an advertiser want to spend a ton of money when they can spend less, or just as much, and gain better accountability for their ad spend?

Fragmentation is a necessity, a requirement a super saturated environment. "Niche-fication" is absolutely necessary for greater efficacy in advertising.

In the search industry, we KNOW this is true. Use of the term "long tail" has proliferated since I first heard of it in 2005.

What the Engines are doing in acquisitions isn't because of lower search usage - it's because they are interested in increasing revenue.

Face it. Engines are the new brokers of media. Television took over what little "advertising" and media existed on radio. Television revolutionized media consumption and became a broker for media consumption.

Now, the search engines are the powerhouse brokers of media consumption. This is the new paradigm.
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Old 10-09-2007   #14
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

Yeah, I tend to agree with most of cryptblade's passionate commentary!

After reading the article, I thought it was interesting that there was no mention of Google owning a small stake in AOL.

The article made is sound like every company bought by a search engine was for advertising. Google at least, has spent Billions on companies not directly related to advertising. (ie urchin, measure map, postini and other)
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Old 10-23-2007   #15
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

Google is fast growing into the most valuable company in the world, so they have to do more than vertical search and sell contextual ads.

They are doing just that by diversifying into an internet service provider, web host, video broadcaster, wireless network owner, mobile operator and so on, local search is also important, so that is why G is moving into street maps.

Yahoo is an entertainment company, web portal, broadcaster, search engine.

Microsoft is software, search, entertainment, news, television and so on.
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Old 10-31-2007   #16
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

They most certainly are moving into other areas.
The majority of Google's revenue is from search, but they are aslo commanding a lot of ad revenue
They are offline also: radio and TV, print etc

The face of the web may be undergoing a subtle transformation as The Search engines are grabbing the lions share of traffic
Think of of MS recent stake in Facebook
It's very intriguing, trying to figure where it's all heading!!
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Old 11-02-2007   #17
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

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Originally Posted by beu View Post
Yeah, I tend to agree with most of cryptblade's passionate commentary!

After reading the article, I thought it was interesting that there was no mention of Google owning a small stake in AOL.

The article made is sound like every company bought by a search engine was for advertising. Google at least, has spent Billions on companies not directly related to advertising. (ie urchin, measure map, postini and other)
I agree with cryptblade and you too.

I think Yahoo and MS are scrambling to catch-up in the advertising business. I am glad Google bought YouTube and hope the lawsuits don't destroy it.

Compare Google to Yahoo. Google has customized homepages now, but they don't include an advertising, Yahoo does. Also, Yahoo places their ads on their blogs. Sure, you can have a blog for free, but you can't share in any revenue. Google allows you to put your own ads on there. In fact, one of my Google blogs has ads by Yahoo on it. LOL Those blogs are still in the sandbox, but they are fun to play with (www.bloogger.com).

I was also looking at adding a php calendar to my website. I investigated various open-source options. Then I checked out Google. I like theirs best. I create a calendar and embed the code on my page. I update right there at Google and it updates of the calendars on the forum and main site. Cool.

Also their maps are great. I have been creating my own local map with hospitals, parks etc. I can even use a homemade icon (haven't done it yet, but will when I get some time).

Google Earth. For goodness sakes, how much did it cost to develop that. Google just gave it away (you can get a paid version with video - but I take frame by frame an make my own for free).

Ask has got some pretty neat commercials, but Google has been implementing some of the same stuff, plus Google makes some great tools for publishers.

Google has grown beyond search, and that is a good thing. They are the publisher's friend. Eric Schmidt said they are offering revenue solutions for publishers. Yah, but they are also offering publishing solutions for publishers. Nearly every article I publish has an embedded video or map from Google.

Wow, I wonder why their stock is trading for $700 +?

Last edited by Dan01 : 11-02-2007 at 10:10 PM. Reason: add something
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Old 11-04-2007   #18
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

I have some stock and as a stockholder I want them to squeeze the profits....
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Old 11-04-2007   #19
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

This one is very easy to answer, Yahoo has moved far beyond search to cover a number of different businesses focused on databases and information compilation. Yahoo Finance for example is a database of company information, so is Yahoo News for that matter, also Yahoo owns Hotjobs another database which requires a front end search engine.

Google has moved beyond search to start compiling information into searchable databases. Google Maps and Google Books are two excellent examples of this.

The larger search companies are becoming in addition to search companies, database companies.
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Old 11-07-2007   #20
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Re: Are Major Search Engines Growing Beyond Search?

Well, everybody has equal right to make money - even that's what we are doing...

Think! If we would not have search engines at www. Much of money would be lost.
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