Thursday, November 03, 2005

Paid to Search?

Bill (the) Gates was letting off gas in Computing this week, and he mentioned the subject of people getting gill from using different search aps.

He seems to think (and, annoyingly, he’s probably right) that engi
nes will have to bid for users as programmes and services move more fully online.

The
Gates ‘respects’ Google, but basically he’s not scared (yeah, right). While Billy acknowledges Google as ‘a fine company, a serious competitor' (hmmm, they're so good cos they've poached all your best staff mate, ask Stevie Ballmer), he is somewhat derisory of any great threat from the king of SEs.

"Google is great, they are smart people, the press should continue to feed their arrogance as much as possible…" said the arrogant rich tosser...

Billy thinks Google makes round £30 a user per year from the searches they do. Being top dog on the search pile means there's no competition, and Google’s highly relevant results have kept it there. Once competition does really begin, and one has to believe Gates means "once we figure out how to out-Google Google with MSN," (ROTHFL) users will benefit as he said in the interview:

"As search becomes competitive and people realize that other offerings are as good, or are even significantly better, there will be price competition."

"You will get some free content or a check, or some incentive to use a different search engine. Competition for users has not even kicked in. I can assure you it will not stay that way.”

"We are going to run some experiments on that in the next year."

Bill gates may be richer than Captain Kirk’ but shareholders have always wanted the company to give some of the cash back, and Microsoft did finally start doing a bit of this in the last few years.

Microsoft is more than capable of bankrolling the effort to get users to switch search engines. They can afford it. Look what they did with the games market and the X-Box. That said, and mirroring his own words:

"Which Google products are you talking about? Seriously? Other than search, which are you talking about? Google Talk? Wow. A total "me too" product. Even Gmail - what is the unique thing?”

Er, having the best search and most efficient search tool in the world doesn’t count for anything then? Er, Google Earth ring any bells? Wait ‘till they get their own browser smuggo. They don't oftern do it first, that much is true, but they invariably do it better...

Come on Billy Boy, this is nowt new! Hoisted by your own pertard matey. Faithful old Amazon gives a weeny little discount for users of its A9.com search engine and toolbar (poor buggers, they deserve it). After a few searches go through A9, you’re eligible for a 1.57 percent discount on your purchases (yipsee).

Admittedly, that could be peanuts compared to what Microsoft can offer, and the Gates does have a way of predicting the market, so who knows. Soon, we could be paid to search.

Potentially, you can get paid for looking for porn.

Sweet.

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