Online search is now very much a part of our daily lives. We all expect the Search Engines (in most cases Google!) to give us the right and correct answers to all of our search enquiries, every time.

Those of us involved in Search Engine Optimisation hear about search ‘algorithms’ being improved and refined on an almost daily basis.   We also hear about the Search Engines releasing applications and gadgets to impress internet users in order gain more of the search engine market share. Each of the major Search Engines wants to be number one –  it is all a question of market share.

The past few weeks prove that, as it has been quite an eventful time for the four main players in the search world: Google, Yahoo, Bing and Baidu.  Below we consider some of the main ‘search engine’ headlines the last two weeks:

1) The YaBing merger:

It all started back in mid-2009 when Yahoo announced that it was joining forces with Microsoft’s Bing in a bid to take on Google. As explained in the Yahoo Search Marketing Blog, Microsoft is powering Yahoo’s search with the Bing engine. Initially this is just for the Yahoo organic search listings for now, but some algorithmic testing for paid and unpaid listings started in the beginning of July (please refer to Yahoo! begins testing with Microsoft for more details).

For all SEO practitioners, the main question is what difference does it make from an optimisation point of view?  Well, Nothing really. Who optimises websites for Bing or Yahoo nowadays?   But it’s still a good idea to keep a close watch on developments.

2) Yahoo! Japan says ‘Arigato’ to Google

Yahoo strikes again, this time from Japan. A new deal has been agreed which sees Yahoo! Japan employing Google technology to power its search engine and online advertising systems.

This can be regarded as one of the best deals in the Search Engine market share war as they are now both covering almost all of the search market in the world’s second largest economy.

Microsoft made a bid for Yahoo back in February 2008, but this announcement, made on the 27th July 2010 , must have left Microsoft feeling a bit lonely.

3) Baidu, the international Search player!

Last week saw a rather interesting statement from Robin Li, CEO of the Chinese search Engine Baidu.  In a statement released on the 9th August,  Li commented on Baidu’s international expansion plans as follows:

“Going forward I think we should make this kind of move as early as possible,” Li said. “During the next five to 15 years we should see some meaningful revenue outside of China.”

Bloomberg published the interview with Li portraying him as increasingly keen’ on acquisitions.

With 70% of the Chinese search market, one thing is for sure, Baidu is definitely hunting for more market share, particularly in Google’s territory.

4) A Final announcement made by Google just a few days ago, Google is dropping its old keyword tool and soon –  by the end of August 2010!

The New Google keyword tool has been available on beta for some time now and it is promised to offer more features including: removing duplicate keywords and adding negatives to the list. For anyone who wants it the old version can still be found here.

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Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Chris has been a Digital Marketing Consultant since 2005. Since 2007 he has specialised in Search Engine Marketing, both Paid Search and Organic SEO. He has an excellent record of helping businesses of all sizes, both in the UK and overseas, to achieve their online marketing goals.

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