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Search Engine Marriages and Scandal in a Summer of Love

Posted on July 16, 2003

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Search Engine Marriages and Scandal in a Summer of Love
By Mike Banks Valentine

At a party held in a novel conference call of celebrating financial analysts Yahoo announced July 14 that they've proposed to Overture!

http://searchengineoptimism.com/Yahoo_acquire_Overture.html

This latest announcement came just after Overture wed both Altavista and Fast/AllTheWeb and not long after Yahoo announced their marriage to Inktomi. What a racy family!

More romance and courtship is detailed in another story.

http://searchengineoptimism.com/searchquake.html

PPC advertisers recieved a press release from Overture by email on Monday outlining the proposal and setting the marriage date (subject to SEC blessings and counsel ;-)

So let's hear of our happy couple, er family, um group.

The Groom,

Yahoo, born in 1994, married Inktomi (born in 1996), in 2002. Nobody is talking about what happened to the recent bride, it may be that she'll be part of an expanding harem Yahoo keeps. Other marriages have included GeoCities, eGroups, HotJobs and WebRing and they all remain a part of the Yahoo (ahem!) family.

http://searchengineoptimism.com/Yahoo_acquires_inktomi.html

The Bride,

Overture was born in `98 (as GoTo). Altavista, born in 1995. Overture married both AltaVista and AlltheWeb (born in 1997) in early 2003. Yahoo will officially wed Overture by about the fall of 2003 (Sigh, I love Autumn weddings). I'm not sure who is related to whom in this group, but they seem very happy as typical American inbred corporate families go.

The romantic moment made me all misty eyed and had me reminiscing of other sweet courtships and marriages of search engines through the last eight years or so. I got out my diary and reviewed those other cherished moments.

Infoseek, born in 1995 married go.com, killed by Disney in 2001. DirectHit, born in 1998 married AskJeeves in 2000, died 2002. WebCrawler, born in early 1994, married AOL in 1995, had affair with Excite winter of 1996. The WebCrawler spider withered in 2001, is now a lonely metasearch engine. Magellan, born in 1995 married Excite in 1996, died in 2001. Snap, born in 1997, later married NBC and took the married name of NBCi, died in 2001.

Hmmmm. I guess those weren't such happy moments, but wait, not all of them met untimely death. Excite, born in 1995, married Magellan and adopted doomed WebCrawler in 1996, married @Home. Excite stopped crawling in December 2001, but still sits by the window and dreams of happier days out traveling the wild web.

Info above chronicled at http://www.searchenginewatch.com/sereport/article.php/2175241

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AskJeeves, born in 1998 married Teoma (born in 2000) in 2001. Lycos, born in 1994, married HotBot in October 1998. Then in the first openly polygamous marriage, Lycos and Terra Networks married in October 2000 to become Terra Lycos. HotBot became depressed and started seeing other men, stringing her keyword phrases among four suitors. Google, FAST, Teoma and Inktomi.

LookSmart, born in October 1996 and Wisenut, born in 2001 married in April 2002. They live a quiet life in seclusion, with LookSmart providing some search results to MSN and wavering between a career as a search engine and PPC search provider. Looksmart has a baby crawler called Grub that is pawned off on babysitters constantly crawling the web from donated computers while LS is off seeking pay-per-click in hopes of making it big one day.

http://searchengineoptimism.com/looksmart_crawl_grubby.html

Netscape was born in 1994. Open Directory was born in 1998. AOL NetFind was born in 1997. Netscape married the Open Directory in November of 1998. AOL married Netscape in December 1998. Many found this openly polygamous relation- ship just scandalous! Then when AOL married Time-Warner things turned sour for the whole mixed up group and they are still struggling to unite the odd family. Divorce and ruin are rumored. Netscape (the browser) was severely brain damaged in an accident that nobody will talk about outside the family.

So all of this marriage talk has eyes turning to the only confirmed bachelor of the search world, MSN search. Rumors have circulated for years about potential suitors, but MSN assiduously avoids courtship and has always outsourced search technology, and is currently powered by LookSmart and Inktomi.

In June the rumors stopped as MSN announced a major decision to stay single with a new initiative to build it's own search technology. MSNBOT has started crawling the web all by itself. They don't like to talk about the lackluster love life and will only say . . .

"MSNBOT is not currently indexing for the MSN Search Engine, so your site may or may not show up in MSN Search results today. Although we have not set a date, it is our intention to eventually integrate the crawled contents into MSN Search results."

http://www.msnsearch.com/msnbot.htm

Lisa Gurry, a group product manager with MSN, said in an article at SearchEngineWatch, "We view it as a three horse race between ourselves, Yahoo and Google, with Google in the lead."

http://searchenginewatch.com/sereport/article.php/2230291

Poor lonely MSN has no romance, would rather bet the ponies. Well if it is a horse race, Yahoo may gain on leader Google if they are able to integrate their Inktomi and Overture (and by extension, Altavista and Fast/AllTheWeb) purchases into relevant search results that searchers trust. But all of the Jockeys on those horses will be whipping their charges toward the finish line with an eye to the winning purse. ;-)

Mixed metaphors aside, the search engine soap opera heats up our next burning episode of "As the World (Wide Web) Turns!"



About the Author

Mike Banks Valentine is a Search Engine Optimization specialist practicing ethical small business SEO
http://SEOptimism.com/



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