Experts View 2011:Do you think there is further consolidation within the search engine marketplace?

by Peter Young on January 17, 2011 · 3 comments

In the penultimate part of our experts view series, we asked the experts as to whether or not they thought 2011 would be a further year of consolidation given what has happened in 2010. With the Bing/Yahoo deal expected to kick into full swing, and legacy 2010 deals such as the Google/ITA deal (or not as the case might be) its already likely to be an interesting year – so we are our opportunities likely to be in 2011?

Do you think there is further consolidation within the search engine marketplace. Any suggestions where this may lie.

David Harry

Further? How’s that possible? Google buys Microsoft? A few years back I was still a dreamer that thought the social engines like OneRiot et al would be a new segment. Look where that got me. But what about the SEO provider world? That’s the one that scares me as there will certainly be some consolidation there. Recessions tend to cull the herd, it should be the more interesting area to watch.

Ben Bisco

Someone will want to buy facebook, but I doubt this will be possible. Instead Google & Bing will continue to buy niche technology companies to enhance their offerings

Paul Reilly:

I would love to see certain patented innovations which make up Google’s search technology licensed, or in keeping with their modus operadi, blatantly ripped off, by facebook, if only to help make facebook more searchable, but I don’t think it will happen. The trouble with facebook is that it simply isn’t the most searchable, particularly when digging into yours or anybody else history. That said, they’re mission isn’t to provide you with history, but rather the now, in realtime. Facebook appear to wan’t you to forget about your historic footprint – however there is, should facebook choose, plenty of scope for traditional search technology to help make it a better, more searchable place.

Nichola Stott

Yes. Blekko is the one to watch.

Judith Lewis

After Bing drives Yahoo’s search we will have 2 major algorithms and 2 major results providers. Any consolidation of the less major search platforms will have no impact. I think Google will continue to try and expand its influence through purchasing businesses but while they decided against Groupon they have to pick up an online business with significant income growth potential. Google is not, and likely may never be, a web portal like Facebook has become.

Andy Beard

Mozillia either buying someone or being bought – Mozilla combined with Blekko for instance might be interesting and shake things up a bit. Facebook seem to have just got a war chest of $1.5B too at $50B valuation

Andy Redfern

Yahoo’s Margin increased to 11% in 2010, mostly aided by the Sale of HotJobs, selling its investment into Alibaba and shedding of 4% of its workforce. Its Search Agreement with Microsoft will start to build in 2011. Yahoo’s partnership with Gannett will expand its local advertising reach, and provide additional content opportunities in 2011. In my opinion CEO Carol Bartz has made Yahoo a very attractive proposition for purchase in 2011, with Microsoft, Apple or Facebook all potential suitors. Any of these partner would be a great move for Yahoo; Apple being its most natural business fit. Yahoo can’t continue to lose more shareholder value and I expect movement in the second quarter of 2011.

Shaun Anderson

i will wait and see, and try and be opportunisitc whatever it is. maybe when I am older I will be concerned with such big picture stuff.

Peter Young

I think there is certainly further consolidation in terms of the likes of Google continuing to buy up niche services and technologies to integrate into the wider Google picture. However whether we see a major acquisition such as the likes of Facebook or Twitter being acquired by Google, is doubtful in my opinion. Outside of there, we may in my opinion see someone make a move for Yahoo, whether that be Bing, Google or someone like Facebook – I think the conditions are right for this to be a realistic consideration.

Will Critchlow

Nope. We’re good for now. Some small players will get bought / disappear / reappear, but nothing that will change strategy until a disruptive player comes along.

Other parts in the Experts View series:
Q1 : Do you think a viable competitor to Google will emerge in 2011?
Q2 : Where do you think the growth area in search will emerge in 2011?
Q3 : Do you think Social media’s influence on SEO will continue to increase or fade away?
Q4: With many recent figures suggesting a ‘mini-revival’ – do you think 2011 will be a bumper year for search
Q5: What do you think will be the 3 biggest challenges facing search practitioners in 2011
Q6: With Google appearing to favour ‘brand building’ do you think we will continue to see affiliates struggle in the new year?
Q7: Will 2011 be the year of – Video/Mobile/Other (if other please specify)

Google+ Comments

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

james January 17, 2011 at 8:33 am

I don’t expect to see much in the way of consolidation in the West, but there are plenty of opportunities worldwide for Google to Microsoft to buy into – Yandex has a giant market share in Russia, and would be an attractive proposition.
Google and Microsoft have both invested in Baidu in the past – Google used to own around 2.5%, but sold it at a massive profit, and Microsoft invested $10 million on improving paid search technology.

rishil January 17, 2011 at 9:05 am

In the UK and US markt you may not see search engine consolidation, However look at the bigger picture – there are plenty of growing and already large non Bing, Non google Search Engines – those are the ones to watch. grabbing one of those would give the buying SE overnight boost in market share.

In the UK / US, Twitter may look at making more of their search – it really sucks at the moment. My recent discovery of Search Operators for Real time Search suggests to me gogle is going to make more of twitter data – and may open themselves to a strong partnership.

Peter Young January 17, 2011 at 10:07 am

Agree with both of you regards potential growth being in other markets. As you say integration with the likes of Yandex, Seznam etc could still be an option – albeit small in my opinion.

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