I keep reading all these speculative posts about Yahoo getting into the contextual advertising game, being "poised" to compete with AdSense, and so on.

But what surprises me is how little chatter about Microsoft I read. If people really think that MSN Search is Microsoft's only assault on the cash cow in Mountain View, there's some really good crack getting smoked.

Maybe it's time to review Google's financials and think like like the monoplist that Microsoft is. If you wanted to "pull a Netscape" on Google, would you merely attack them in the algorithmic search market? Or would you go after the real money too?

To quote their filing from last year:

We derive most of our revenues from fees we receive from our advertisers.

Luckily, they haven't forgotten their roots:

Our original business model consisted of licensing our search engine services to other web sites. In the first quarter of 2000, we introduced our first advertising program...

But I'm betting on a healthy dose of Redmond Greed to make this interesting.

What do you think?

Posted by jzawodn at March 12, 2005 05:13 PM

Reader Comments
# alex brown said:

At least Google is up front with its commercial whore-isms.

on March 12, 2005 06:43 PM
# xiffy said:

Oh I thinnk you are right on the spot here, advertising it will be, and 'we' will serve it the redmond way, a bit different but very 'smooth'.
And once that 'system' is running weird and bad things start to happen. But then it's too late to pull back and another microsoft monster is set loose.

on March 12, 2005 06:48 PM
# ASDF said:

This page at Yahoo is fueling the speculation:

on March 12, 2005 09:30 PM
# Jeremy Zawodny said:

Yeah, but I think it started before that was live.

on March 12, 2005 09:33 PM
# Andres said:

HI! Then probably roumors should have started upon the launch of Y!Q, which is quite similar to adsense but only for unpaid search results.

on March 13, 2005 08:22 AM
# Mario said:

Creating their own online advertising network could make sense for the Redmondians. But on the other hand it would not. What is it that the company stands for? Is it computer software? Is it based on 'every possible application of computing'? Depending on your viewpoint you'll probably find a suitable answer. In my opinion the ultimate battlefield is going to be Longhorn. We will see whether the corporate strategicans of Bill Gates can fight the geek army of Sergey and Larry. In the end, the customer will hopefully benefit.

on March 13, 2005 03:07 PM
# Richard Hall said:

In hindsight would Microsoft ever "pull a Netscape" on Google considering the eventual outcome of such this tactic when played on Microsoft?

The "crack smokers" or kool aid drinkers you refer to might be alerted to Microsoft's acquisition of Eric Hahn's (ex-Netscape VP) Lookout tool back in July '04:


I feel a bundle coming on...

on March 14, 2005 04:39 AM
# IDentity said:

Google struck first when they swooped for Applied Semantics, they put a priority on the long tail and gained first mover advantage. Overture were otherwise busy at the time (algo, local, buy out, etc, etc)

Microsoft has been recruiting aggressively in the cpc platform space (how many former Overture/Yahoo! colleagues are in Redmond now.)And let’s face it content analysis is just an inverted search query – right (think about it for a while anyway…. it is)

So why would anyone share a % rev share with a 3rd party, when you can own the lot – exactly.

on March 14, 2005 03:08 PM
# Tom Norian said:

Lets just try to make the battle play out in a way that estabilishes traditions of open accesss, and the companies trip over each other trying to make independant publishers happy (and let them establish clientel in the meantime).

on March 16, 2005 02:08 PM
# Jeffrey McManus said:

Do people really "chatter" about the paid search business?

on March 17, 2005 09:11 AM
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