How much is a website worth? continues to gain power and market share

One of the most curious things about the Internet is how quickly it has gone from being a play-thing for scruffy, geeky, college kids to being an indispensable industry that is dominated by industrial giants.

Microsoft, Google, Yahoo!, and Amazon all have an enormous impact on our lives; the way we work, the way we play, and the way we shop. Individual people, companies, and families being so dependent on the whims of corporate structure remind us of the monopoly of Ma Bell, when the phone company owned not just the switchboards and wires, but the very phones in our homes and offices.

The biggest difference between Ma Bell and the Internet Giants is that there is still a good deal of competition on the Web. And consumers benefit from this healthy competition between giants.

The king of search remains Google. However Microsoft is hoping that in the future, rather than "Googling" when you have an inquiry, you'll "Bing" instead. Things are looking good, as is capturing more and more of Google's market share. advertises itself as a "Decision Engine" rather than a mere search engine. When a term is placed in a search engine, supposedly everyone will get the same result based on Key Words and phrases, as well as site popularity and "relevance". A Decision Engine takes these factors into account, but also factors in user input.

Bing uses information from past searches as well as information from Facebook accounts (and Facebook Friends accounts) to match the results to the user.

Microsoft has been involved in web-search for a long time. In the third quarter of 1998 MSN Search was launched. It used results from Inktomi and AltaVista, as well as Picsearch image search. In 2006 MSN Search was replaced by Windows Live Search, which featured tabs for Web, News, Images, Music, Desktop, Local and Microsoft Encarta. In 2007 the Microsoft Live Family was integrated into the Microsoft adCenter. Microsoft reconized there could be branding issues with "Live", so when their new search engine was launched in June, 2009, they choose the name "Bing", which is supposed to remind people of the eureka moment whena discovery is made.

Soon after the launch of Bing, Microsoft and Yahoo! signed a ten year deal that Yahoo!'s search engine would be replaced by Bing. Both services are web portals, and Yahoo! will maintain most of its features and appearance. However it is planned that a "Powered by Bing" search branding will appear.

As mentioned earlier, continues to gain power and market share. PC Magazine articles have claimed that Bing searches are more effective than Google. In Sept 2010 Google had 72.5% of the search market, while Bing had only 23.64%.

By Mar 2011, Bing has grown to 30% while Google has dropped to 64.42%.

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