Innovation among companies hots up as ad pie swells.
With experts projecting that the global market for paid Internet searches will reach more than US$6 billion (S$10 billion) by 2006, up from about US$2 billion last year, search engine companies are gearing up to duke it out for a chunk of the advertising pie.
Mr Sterling, program director at strategic research firm The Kelsey Group, senses a war brewing on the Internet.
Recent news reports have described the efforts of IT giants Yahoo! and Microsoft to gain a foothold in the market.
Both are trying to come up with next-generation search technologies to elbow past the current leader, Google, which now processes 80 per cent of all Internet searches.
Yahoo!, which now uses Google’s search technology, announced plans this month to ditch its partner in favour of technologies developed by Inktomi and Overture, companies recently bought by Yahoo!
Yahoo! is now free to challenge its former ally. In the Microsoft camp, rumours about the software behemoth developing a ‘Google killer’ were confirmed when a spokesman recently admitted that the company was developing its own search engine.
There have also been reports that Microsoft will integrate its search engine into the next version of its Windows operating system and Office productivity suite.
With Google planning a public offering worth an estimated US$4 billion, you can be sure it will not give up its crown so easily.
Posted by S.T.