Posted November 16, 2007 3:13 pm by with 11 comments

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Well, if you can’t be #1, then you should probably do like Microsoft and aim for being “one of the top two” (aka #2). Reuters reports that Microsoft is looking to knock one of their competitors (you know, Yahoo and Google) out pretty soon. Microsoft’s President of Platforms and Services Kevin Johnson, speaking at a UBS investor conference, is aiming pretty high in his three- to five-year plan for the company’s web advertising prospects.

Reuters cites Microsoft’s acquisition of aQuantive, announced in May and completed in August, as evidence of how serious they are about online advertising.

Johnson called Microsoft’s plan for web dominance the “10, 20, 30, 40” plan. If all goes accordingly:

  1. 10% of all Internet page views will be and Windows Live email
  2. 20% of all time online will be spent at Microsoft website
  3. 30% of Internet searches will be performed on Microsoft/Live
  4. 40% of Internet and digital ad dollars will be paid to Microsoft

Some of these goals are pretty optimistic: while they already have 6% of Internet page views (four percentage points off goal 1), and 17% of time online (three percentage points off goal 2), they only have 10% of Internet searches (twenty percentage points off goal 3) and 6% of digital ad dollars (thirty-four percentage points off goal four).

Johnson’s plan to compete:

“If you look at the landscape of other competitors or other companies in this area, not only do we have the technology, research and development capability to deploy, but (we have) our willingness to invest for the long term,” said Johnson in a question-and-answer session with UBS analyst Heather Bellini. . . .

Johnson said Microsoft has worked to improve the relevance of its Web search results and how it presents that information, but the company has failed to close the gap on Google and Yahoo.

Of course, I don’t really expect much more than buzz words from them, something tells me that Google and Yahoo have a couple of dollars to spend on “technology, [and] research and development” and I think they’re willing “to invest for the long term.” Maybe I’m wrong, though, maybe Google’s plan all along is to dominate the market, squash the competition and then, after a couple years, fade into obscurity as quickly as possible.

And relevance? Was relevance supposed to be enough to unseat Google and Yahoo?


  • rcjordan

    >I don’t really expect much more than buzz words

    I think those of us in search marketing are more in line with the following quote, except we might add that there’s a third reason MS announcements; Get press releases converted to stories by the news services.
    So really what was the crux of Microsoft’s announcement? Two things:

    1. They have absolutely no idea how far behind they are.
    2. They’ve launched technology that will catch them up to where the other big players were 5-6 years ago.

  • MSN has 10% of search? I don’t think I’ve ever searched on MSN once in my life. If I did, it was an accident, and I’m truly sorry, I promise I won’t do it again.

  • Ed

    This is far beyond optimistic. Some of those goals are downright ludicrous.

    Microsoft is starting to sound like Sonys Playstation division. Lets be realistic folks.

  • I’m not sure when microsoft nerfed themselves, but they really did miss alot of internet and search action over the years.

    It is going to be interesting to follow.

  • 10% of searches are performed on MSN? Who searches on MSN? That’s silly.

  • Zen

    Lots of speculation. Let’s see if they can get it going. 😉

  • that’s really tough task to get 30% from the search market, of which google has taken 60%

  • 40% of all digital ads?? In 3~5 years?? In Microsoft dreams maybe, but no chance this is happening soon.

  • J

    To achieve the last two targets they have to completely knock out one of the two bigger players.

    Probably take Yahoo out of business and try to share search with Google. Then Google will get 80% and Ms will not be able to hit their target.

    It’s a dream

  • I don’t think I’ve ever searched on MSN once in my life.It is going to be interesting to follow.

  • if you think that number, it’s because you have never done a search with msn search like now live search or something like that, it’s don’t work well. It’s like vista. bug, bug, bug.