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General Search Engine Marketing Issues Forum

Search Engine Acquisitions
List of Search Engine Related Acquisitions 2001-2003
The Subtle Knife

 6:04 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've just been trying to compile a list of acquisions
that have happened in the past few years, that are related
to Major Search engines, I thought this would be easy,
anyway, has anyone got a complete list?
Below is what I digged up so far:


Ask Jeeves Acquires DirectHit - $500 Million.

Google acquires Deja.com

Ask Jeeves Acquires Teoma - $4 million.

April 2002
LookSmart Acquires Wisenet - $9.25 million

FEBRUARY 2003 - Undisclosed amount.
Google Acquires Pyra Labs/Blogger.com - Undisclosed amount.

APRIL 2003 - $70 million
Overture acquires Alltheweb.com /FAST's Web search unit

APRIL 2003 -
Google Acquires Applied Semantics

APRIL 2003
OverTure acquires AltaVista - $140 million
OverTure to purchase AltaVista would be finalised by April 2003.

Google Acquires Kalix - Undisclosed amount.
Palo Alto-based Kaltix Corp., a search technology startup, has been purchased by Internet search engine company Google Inc., of Mountain View. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kaltix Corp. was formed just three months ago and focuses on developing personalized and context-sensitive search technologies



 7:58 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Then there's the Yahoo acquisition of Inktomi - and then later Overture, narrowing the field to even fewer total players overall.


 8:54 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


June 18, 1998:
Disney buys 45% of Infoseek:

July 28, 1998
Altavista Buys Altavista.com for $3 Million

October 12, 1998
Lycos Buys Wired/Hotbot:

Compaq buys Shopping.com
January 11, 1999

January 19, 1999
At Home buys Excite:

Altavista Sold to CMGI
June 29, 1999

July 12, 1999:
Disney buys rest of Infoseek:

October 25, 1999
Excite@Home Buys Blue Mountain Arts for $780 Million:

Feb. 09, 1999:
USA Networks Buys Lycos:

May 18, 2000
Terra Buys Lycos

Ask Jeeves Buys DirectHit

30 January, 2001
Lycos buys Raging Bull:

Google Acquires Deja News:
February 12, 2001

Ask Jeeves Assimilates Teoma

April 2002
LookSmart Acquires Wisenet

December 10, 2002
Yahoo buys Inktomi:

February 15, 2003
Google Buys Pyra

February 18, 2003
Overture acquires AltaVista

APRIL 2003
Overture acquires Alltheweb.com

April 23, 2003
Google Acquires Applied Semantics

Yahoo Buys Overture:
July 14, 2003,

Sept 30, 2003:
Google Acquires Kaltix

The Subtle Knife

 9:22 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Brett's list seems quite old,
anyone got a more up-to date list?


 9:51 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just sit down and read on back through the forums, The_Subtle_Knife. Anything that's happened, we've got it all. Generally whenever something important happens it's announced here just as soon as it breaks.

>>Sept 30, 2003

Anything happened this month that you can think of?


 9:55 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>anyone got a more up-to date list?

More up to date than Sept 30, 2003?


 9:58 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)


The Subtle Knife

 10:22 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just sit down and read on back through the forums

I'm assuming that's a joke right?

There is a very serious point to this.

Am I right that the only major players in the
near future will be: (In order of how good/big they will be)

1. Microsoft
2. Yahoo
3. Google


 10:32 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

The subtle knife,

nobody knows what will happen to the search engine market. Though its very unlikely there might come new engines...

And what kind of list do you expect? Brett gave you lots of links to merger / aquisition discussions, and to me this list seems quite up to date. If you really need more details, you should do a search and go through all the threads.


 10:35 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

Anyway, back on topic.

What are some major search biz dealings that we have over looked up there?


 11:00 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>1. Microsoft

We've been seeing their crawler but it can only be blind conjecture when they'll actually have an operational search engine of their own. They're abandoning LS and have renewed with Overture.

>>2. Yahoo

Acquired several other properties, but it can only be blind conjecture at this point what's in store in the near or distant future.

>>3. Google

Still the dominant force in the search market, and it can only be blind conjecture as to whether or how much of that market share others will be able to capture in the near or distant future.

4. AskJeeves/Teoma - can't be counted out at all, they've got some fine technology, innovative ideas and some talented, dedicated people. They do reasonably well by certain well-defined niche markets, and it can only be pure conjecture when they'll start seeing the increased recognition and public appeal they rightfully deserve. To some extent we can have some influence over that happening if we give it half a try.

>>the only major players

It makes little difference to us, from our perspective as marketers, who the major players are. As long as we know how to get the most traffic with the best bang for our buck, it makes little difference where traffic is coming from beyond whatever we need to know to improve it.

The internet, the industry and the market's reached the point where we've passed out of the infant and toddler stage, moved through childhood, and are progressing through adolescence as an industry to a more mature, adult approach.

We can continue to do what we do well and refine our skills to do it even better, but we're moving onward to where once we get traffic, we can better focus on knowing what to do with that traffic more effectively. Exploring other avenues and possibilities. Broadening horizons. Conversion. Retention.

Call it being the "compleat webmaster," if you will - with an open-minded approach and a broader, more holistic view than we've had up until now.


 11:22 pm on Oct 19, 2003 (gmt 0)

>>the only major players

Although their newly released search product, WebFountain, is not a public engine, I'm watching IBM very closely. They've positioned WebFountain as a corporate data-mining application for the web. For those involved in B2B marketing, this may well be a factor in the near future.

Strictly speaking, this is not an acquisition - except that IBM has made a many year long practice of buying up smaller start-ups that look promising and potentially competitive. The net effect is the release of "new" IBM products that often grow out of their acquisitions.


 12:20 am on Oct 20, 2003 (gmt 0)

>anyone got a more up-to date list?

More up to date than Sept 30, 2003?

Take it easy on The_Subtle_Knife, Brett's original post didn't contain all of those listings.

The Subtle Knife

 5:56 pm on Oct 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

nobody knows what will happen to the search engine market.

Let's all just pack our bags and retire, you know
just pack it all in.
We don't know the future, we can plan anything, let's just
not bother?

Being a Technocrat Futurist this kind of talk is nonsense
to me. Just like I predicted ages ago, they won't catch Bin Linden
or Saddam Hussain, you can predict the future to a very good degree.
I also knew they would buy out Kaltix.
This is with very basic intuition, looking at the obvious facts.
Nothing is "blind conjecture".

By Looking at acquisions, you at least know who's seriously in the running.
You can see what's taking shape.

So can we vote for who we personally think will be in control
say, in a few years. I'm still thinking it's Microsoft,
once the release LongHorn, the landscape will change considerably I think.

What does everyone else think?

1. Microsoft
2. Yahoo
3. Google
4. AskJeeves/Teoma

[edited by: agerhart at 6:02 pm (utc) on Oct. 21, 2003]
[edit reason] removed unprofessional language [/edit]


 6:01 pm on Oct 21, 2003 (gmt 0)

I also knew they would buy out Kaltix

Please put me on your stock tip list.


 7:17 pm on Oct 22, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm not really sure who will control the SE World in the future. But what I certain now is this: It's a big shame all those proceses of purchase and concentration in the SE World. If the free market theory is right we need several players in the game to make the things go right. And a so global and important market as the SE is, controled by only 2 or 3 corporations, is not a good scene for the future IMHO.

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