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Thursday, 30 July 2009

Search just got interesting again

All the talk yesterday was about the long awaited Yahoo/Microsoft search deal, but that was only half of the story when it came to how competition in the search market has ramped up.

The launch of Bing in May finally paved the way for the 10 year Yahoo search deal and the search engine will now be integrated into Yahoo as it's search platform. There is no doubt that the deal furthers Steve Ballmer's insatiable need to take on Google and with just under a third of the search market Microsoft finally look like they could gain some traction.

However, what Google and Microsoft have yet to crack is the newly emergent real-time search model. Two developments occurred on Wednesday that took this into new territory. Twitter relaunched their homepage and switched the emphasis away from followers and into search and arguably turned itself into a destination portal. Some argue that this won't actually benefitted users, however as websites become less important to users and the importance of web presence becomes more and more essential the body shift from Twitter makes sense. At the same time the newly launched improved it's already impressive offering by adding an additional layer of search capability with video and images.

Microsoft has got bingtweets in beta and Google launched search options back in May but the improvements in realtime search is going to keep the big boys on their toes. Ultimately the smaller players look like acquisition fodder, but the longer they stay ahead of the curve and hold out against a takeover the more expensive the battle's going to be to win. Certainly Wednesday will go down as a pivotal moment in the field of search and certainly from the marketing community's perspective Wednesday's announcement was music to the ears.

Crispin Heath

Head of Digital

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