Would Microsoft and Yahoo Combine To Combat Google?

When visiting Search Engine Watch Forums this morning, the first thread I saw was Yahoo & Microsoft To Combine. I just about spit coffee all over the place! Could Microsoft and Yahoo combine forces to fight Google’s dominance in the search arena? The Wall Street Journal seems to think so.

In a story entitled “A Microsoft, Yahoo Tie-Up?” looks at the possibility of the two giants joining forces to take out Google as the dominant force in search. The Journal reports that this would be a major departure for Microsoft, a software maker that is legendary for toiling on its own until it captures a new market. However, people familiar with the situation say that Microsoft has considered the idea of acquiring a stake in Yahoo, and that the two companies have discussed possible options over the course of the past year.

A couple of key excerpts:

“In one sign that Microsoft may be serious about major acquisitions, it has hired search-industry executive Steve Berkowitz to head MSN, the Internet unit that is building the Web-search business and is leading Microsoft’s charge against Google, including Web search. Mr. Berkowitz, the former chief executive of search site Ask.com, is viewed as a likely deal maker at MSN, having completed more than 40 acquisitions in his career, according to a person close to the matter.”

and…

“A Microsoft-Yahoo combination could merge complementary strengths. To succeed in Internet-search advertising — the business driving Google’s growth — a competitor needs three core elements: strong technology, a mass of consumers and a universe of different advertisers. Microsoft is spending untold hundreds of millions of dollars on the technology piece, but it doesn’t yet have enough consumers using its MSN service to entice the needed advertisers.”

Personally I don’t see it happening. While Microsoft may need Yahoo to compete against Google, I don’t think it is true the other way around. Yahoo’s main problem is their antiquated toolset that exists in Yahoo! Sponsored Search (formerly Overture). It is awful! The main problem with this however is the fact that they keep building upon an old outdated system. They really need to scrap the whole thing and start from scratch, giving advertisers what they have been asking for. I don’t see Microsoft as suitable partner to provide a solution here, not with their history of producing buggy software themselves.

Not only do I not see it happening but I wouldn’t want to see it happen. I don’t care to much for Microsoft as a company (I typically don’t like any company that has the mentality to stamp out everyone else and rule the world). Sure I use their products (who doesn’t) but am always open to other competing products that are better such as the Firefox browser. While I like the competition that Microsoft brings against Google, I certainly would not wish to see them dominate search. What do you think? Discuss at Search Engine Watch where I have already posted my comments.

David Wallace

David Wallace, co-founder and CEO of SearchRank, is a recognized expert in the industry of search and social media marketing. Since 1997, David has been involved in developing successful search engine and social media marketing campaigns for large and small businesses. Follow +David Wallace on Google + as well as Twitter.

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