Two wrongs do not make a Google

Like many others, I was perplexed by Microsoft’s offer to buy Yahoo for $44 billion. I’m guessing this is some attempt for Microsoft to try to compete with Google for search engine dominance.

But the thing is that both Yahoo and Microsoft have been trying to chip away at Google’s search engine audience for years without any success. If two wrongs don’t make a right, then certainly two inferior search engines don’t add up to a superior search engine.

Media critic Dan Kennedy talks at length about this subject.

Reading his insightful post, I couldn’t help but count the different Google products that I use daily. Let’s see, I of course use the regular search engine. Then there’s Google News, followed closely by Google Blog Search (I use that slightly less often than Technorati). Then there’s Google Reader and Google Docs. I use all of these products several times a day. Oh! And I almost forgot Gmail, for which I have multiple accounts. Update: I just thought of yet another product I use regularly: Google Talk.

Do I use Yahoo ever? Only when I’m following a link to it from some other source. Same goes for Microsoft and its various services. I think I once had a hotmail account back in the 90s, but it got shut down because of the idiotic 30-day inactivity rule.

If Microsoft really wanted to compete with Google for search, they would start fresh with some new up-and-coming search engine (Wikia maybe?) with fresh ideas. Not some old media company still struggling in its quest for innovation.

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2 Comments

  1. Gabriel Says:

    This offer doesn’t come to me as a surprise. Everyone following the search engine war knew very well Microsoft and Yahoo were lagging behind Google significantly.

    I’m very much against a buyout from Microsoft. We know too well Microsoft is not a good competitor, so they monopolize in a text book fashion by simply buying the competition. We’ve seen it in the PC industry, it’s currently going on in the video game industry, and they are trying to do it again in the search engine battle.

    This is really unhealthy. I welcome competition through innovation; not through meritless buyouts.

  2. James Says:

    Did you know that Yahoo is the top web site on Alexa? Google is currently second and third, with Google and YouTube.

    I also once had a hotmail account, actually I’ve had a tonne…but they keep shutting them down?! I do have a yahoo account that I use regularly, I think its got a better email interface than Gmail…

    But which is better is redundant, just getting as much traffic as it does is money for Jam… think advertising, people databases etc.

    If MS had Yahoo, then it would double it’s search engine position… which would possibly be enough to start seriously competing with Google’s position – though it would still be a big task. But they did it before in Netscape vs IE…

    I think the real gain would be in Internet traffic though. Not in any particular product space.


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