John Battelle’s Search Predictions for 2006

John Battelle is on his third year predicting the upcoming year in search. Some snippets…

2. Google will stumble, some might say badly, but it will be significant. How? My money is on its second or third major deal – something on the order of the recent AOL deal. It may well be a loss (perceived or otherwise) in the Google Book Search case. Or it might be the privacy issue. This is not to say the company is going to fail, or the stock, for that matter. Just that it will face a major test in 2006 that it won’t pass with flying colors.

5. Microsoft will gain five points of search share, at least. But…

Is Microsoft Really an AOL Loser?

CNet looks at what plans Microsoft has now that it has lost the chance to partner with AOL.

There’s one statement that I diasgree with…

But given that AOL and Google have had a search engine agreement for three years, “at the end of the day, nothing much has really changed” for Microsoft, said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at JupiterResearch. “From Microsoft’s perspective, the ability to do a deal with AOL would have been a good thing, but it was not a critical thing.”

The fact that “nothing much has really changed” IS the problem. This was a huge opportunity to not only jump-start MSN adCenter, but also steal market share from Google. With Google starting to hear murmors that they’re perhaps losing favor, the PR value alone would have been huge for Microsoft – they win, Google loses.

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More Praise for SEMLogic

Word is starting to spread about SEMLogic. After Rand’s very kind comments, Todd “Stuntdubl” Malicoat offers up his unsolicited praise.

It’s a brilliant piece of technology…very nice work that I’m sure would be very useful data to near any site. …this in and of itself doesn’t really do the tool justice, and information can be gathered for both on page AND off page optimization. If you could benefit from this software (and aren’t just a filthy tire kicker like me) be sure to give these guys a jingle.

Many thanks Todd!

Track Your Google Searches

The Google blog informs us that you can now use Personalized Search to track your own search trends.

Google and AOL Make it Official

The news is out and just about everything speculated is true. From the press release

Under the strategic alliance, Google and AOL will continue providing search technology to AOL’s network of Internet properties worldwide. The agreement’s broad range of new features for users and advertisers
include:

– Creating an AOL Marketplace through white labeling of Google’s advertising technology – enabling AOL to sell search advertising directly to advertisers on AOL-owned properties;
– Expanding display advertising throughout the Google network;
– Making AOL content more accessible to Google Web crawlers;
– Collaborating in video search and showcasing AOL’s premium video service within Google Video;
– Enabling Google Talk and AIM instant messaging users to communicate with each other, provided certain conditions are met; and
– Providing AOL marketing credits for its Internet properties.

Google’s AOL Investment a Likely New Strategy for Partnerships

Take a look at BusinessWeek’s fascinating summary of the events that led up to the Google/AOL deal.

It’s interesting to note that while billionaire Time Warner investor Carl Icahn is calling the Google deal a bad thing for those looking to see AOL broken-up and sold, he was the one pushing for the deal instead of one with Microsoft.

Microsoft and Time Warner had been discussing a joint venture that would have tethered the companies’ fortunes more deeply. Had that deal gone through, it would have been harder to peel AOL away from its parent. Icahn was pushing Time Warner in the direction of Google, according to a person close to the discussions. By the morning of Dec. 16, Time Warner execs notified their Microsoft counterparts that they were entering exclusive talks with Google.

What Did you Google in 2005?

Google has just revealed their 2005 year-end Google Zeitgeist (def).

Looks like Wikipedia is in for a strong 2006. With this much interest, can it remain a non-profit or will Google come courting?