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The Search Engine Market !

The world is going abuzz with talks between the two east- coast companies—Yahoo from Sunnyvale, California and Microsoft from Redmond, Washington. Surprisingly, Google was also active in the media, this time around playing spoiler by claiming that Microsoft would use the deal to gain too much of control over the Internet.

We have also heard reports about AOL talking to Yahoo! for a likely deal. We believe that’s not coincidence, considering the fact that Google owns a 5 per cent stake in AOL. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. also joined in the league, by recently holding talks with Yahoo!

The Chinese portal Alibaba, however, is an important factor in the whole deal. For those of you’ll who haven’t heard of it, Alibaba is a Hangzhou-based e-commerce / e-auction company, and a significant player in China’s search engine and online marketing industry after Baidu. Yahoo! is a major stakeholder in Alibaba. Softbank, a Japanese telecommunications company, which bought out Vodafone Japan, also owns a 3.9 per cent stake in Yahoo US and 40 per cent of Yahoo Japan. In addition to this, both Softbank and Yahoo, are common investors in Alibaba. Being a dominant player in China, this deal is being closely watched by Chinese authorities— concerned over foreign control of Chinese businesses, especially with Microsoft, considering its monopolistic policies and practices.

The deal between the two companies has not yet been signed, and it already has effects on China and Japan. But what are the possible impacts in India? As far as Indian surfers are concerned, Google ranks the highest, followed by Yahoo! at a distant second place, and then MSN. Unlike other countries where the competition is stiff, in India, Google really holds a significant lead over the other search engines. Could this translate into a reduction in PPC rates for online advertising? SEO professionals would surely be watching this closely. So, for India, things don’t seem to be as significant anyway. Surely services are only going to improve with the competition. They’ve got to!