Posted March 13, 2006 11:12 am by with 3 comments

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The BBC looks at how the search engine war has moved to a new battlefield.

No longer do the different search sites compete on how many results they can provide to people not least because, as even Google admits, most people get what they want in the first five results returned to them.

Instead, the BBC suggests that whichever search engine can develop “sticky” communities is likely to be the one that sees the most growth. On that basis, my money is on Yahoo, with IAC/Ask second, followed by AOL, then MSN. While Google is doing a great job of launching lots of cool tools, the others are doing a better job of integrating their offerings with well-defined communities.

  • I love the cycles in business. Looks like for the search engine market it’s about 5 years. I can remember the same thing being said about “eyeballs”. Back then, search was as good as it gets and the majors needed to employ a “portal” type of system to compete. This meant being “sticky” and holding users attention. It was right about this time a small university start-up was growing and then became the biggest world wide brand name two years running. Gotta love history 😉

  • I think MSN is gonna give Ask a run for the money with the launch of They already have a larger market share and a portal.

  • Suddenly, Web 2.0 looks like DOS. A swing back to portals. They might be to generic. If what we are talking about is community building, then perhaps retail outlets are the future of the web.

    Meaning, maybe hyper-local communities, or specific communities for professionals that are managed, have human representatives on the ground, and augmented by seminars, storefronts, and printing…

    I’ve often thought about how one goes about connecting in the new ex-Urban landscape. The current portals and social networking tools might be too passive.