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Microsoft to Steal Search Dominance from Google?

March 2nd, 2006 - by Brett Derricott - Salt Lake City, Utah

How could anyone possibly persuade users to abandon Google’s search engine? Reports put current market share for Google’s search at about 49%. Yahoo is hovering around 20% and MSN is in third place with about 10%.

Yahoo has ceded the victory to Google. At least that’s what Yahoo CFO Susan Decker told Bloomberg News as quoted below.

“We don’t think it’s reasonable to assume we’re going to gain a lot of share from Google,” Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker said in an interview. “It’s not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share.”

So Yahoo has given up the race for the top spot, but what about MSN? Will Microsoft throw in the towel? Not according to Neil Holloway, Microsoft president for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Holloway is quoted by Reuters as saying, “What we’re saying is that in six months’ time we’ll be more relevant in the U.S. market place than Google.”

According to the article the new MSN domination will come from a new search technology that will deliver more relevant results to users. The search technology will be integrated into Hotmail and Messenger to make searching more seamless for users of these products (and potentially others).

What do you think? Can Microsoft pull it off? What will this mean for paid search advertising? If you’re using Google’s AdWords for your business or your clients, will you start using paid advertising with Microsoft if they can gain enough market share? I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.