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13 May / 2008

Who is the King of the Web? Part-3

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(A comparative study of Google, Yahoo and Msn)

It’s very interesting and baffling too! A stiff competition exists among the three major search websites. Every now and then, websites rank among one another. Surveys are conducted from time to time in order to gauge the traffic flow and thereby evaluate the popularity of the websites.

Popularity of the three search engines

To mention, in 2004,a survey conducted by Forrester Research revealed that Yahoo increased its market search to 40% alongside Google, which also owned the same value of market search. MSN followed in with 23%. The same year, comScore Networks released a data evaluating the traffic flow to the three major search engines. Yahoo ranked first with more than 115 million unique visitors. MSN invited around 113 million visitors while Google ranked fourth with 63 million web users (Source- http://www.searchengineguide.com/jennifer-laycock/yahoo-gains-on-googleor-does-it.php).

Another study conducted by comScore demonstrating the growing trends of Internet search in 2006 revealed that Microsoft ranked first in the top ten hottest property destinations in the web world. Google and Yahoo followed Microsoft (Source- http://www.searchengineguide.com/jennifer-laycock/google-is-the-m.php).

However, a global search survey conducted by comScore last year demonstrates a different story. Google turned out be search engine leader garnering about 37 billion visitors. Yahoo followed next with 8.5 billion web users while Microsoft ranked fourth with 2.2 billion users (http://www.searchengineguide.com/jennifer-laycock/yahoo-gains-on-googleor-does-it.php).

Current market share

Most popular search engines worldwide, Dec. 2007
Company Millions of searches Relative market share
Google 28,454 46.47%
Yahoo 10,505 17.16%
Baidu 8,428 13.76%
Microsoft 7,880 12.87%
NHN 2,882 4.71%
eBay 2,428 3.9%
Time Warner (includes AOL) 1,062 1.6%
Ask.com and related 728 1.1%
Yandex 566 0.9%
Alibaba.com 531 0.8%
Total 61,221 100.0%

(Source-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engines)

In the fiscal year 2007, Google earned revenue of $16.593 billion. Yahoo gross revenue was $6.7 billion while Microsoft earned about $51.12 billion.
The big fight

There always exist a cold war among the three major websites. The growing popularity and strength of the search engine leader Google is increasing day by day. One can imagine of a time in future where Google emerges as a dominant entity in the cyber world.

However, a close observation reveals that there is continuous effort among the contemporaries to establish their supremacy in the web world. To mention, the much talked about Microsoft’s attempt to acquire Yahoo.

In 2005, 2006, 2007 many merger discussions took place between Yahoo and Microsoft but that never materialized. On February 1, 2008, Microsoft made a takeover proposal to acquire Yahoo for US$44.6 billion dollars. Following this event, Yahoo considered other options for a possible business deal with News Corp or union with Google. However, Yahoo turned down this unsolicited offer on February 11,2008 (Source – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahoo).

Microsoft is still in hot pursuit for Yahoo. It still sticks to its initial offer for Yahoo Inc. Sources have concluded that Microsoft devices to work out the deal single handedly whereas News Corp too carries on dealings with Yahoo without Microsoft’s participation. On April 5, 2008,Microsoft threatened to begin an intimidating bid for Yahoo. Microsoft held that if it fails to get the deal around April 26 then it would lower its offer. As of now, discussions are on of a possible business between Yahoo and Time Warner’s AOL (Source- http://news.moneycentral.msn.com/provider/providerarticle.aspx?feed=OBR&date=20080411&id=8477817)

There seems to be no end of this ongoing trend in the web world. Some rank over others in the race while some get lost in the crowd. What remains true in all occasions is the quality of services, which determines the success of the business. More the flow of traffic to a website, more is the business.

Understanding the trends of the web industry is indeed an intricate task. To conclude which of the websites are exercising an overriding influence over others is very challenging. However, facts pinpoint certain basic reality about the web market.

Both, Yahoo and Microsoft are successfully doing business in the web market. The two search engines have world-class services for the global web users but Google, the Internet giant seems to stand tall in the crowd.

In addition to its existing services, Google’s attempt for the new approach i.e., App Engine is indeed a very welcoming effort in the web industry. Google’s increasing share of advertising, search coupled various web applications seems to signal its supremacy in providing topnotch infrastructure and emerging as a foremost operating system (Source- http://www.news.com/8301-13953_3-9915062-80.html? tag=nefd.pop).

Whether, Google will continue to exercise its prominence is a great question. Well, the answer lies only in times to come. As of now, considering the existing trends, it is apparent that the search engine king is racing ahead of its competitors.

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