Back in the mid 90's there were several different market leaders, and that continued just about until 2001. Fast forwarding to now, and there are basically three players. No more Excite (as a search leader), no more Alta Vista (as a search leader, No more (FAST as a search leader), no more Metacrawler as a search leader), and the list goes on.
Yea, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of PPC search engines, but besides the top three or four (Adwords, Overture, FindWhat, Looksmart), the others are garbage. Believe me, I have tried a good number of them, and the results were horrible for several different markets. I wouldn't even use them if they gave me money to use them. The results never turn to sales. Anyway, loosing track. Basically, we only have Google, Yahoo (inktomi), and upcoming MSN Search. There is with out a doubt in my mind, that MSN will eventually acquire one of these companies. That's basically what MSFT likes to do, if you cannot beat them, acquire them and take the credit. So, is this what it is going to come down too? One two main search engines? Like in the computer industry, there is only Apple and Windows? Which, MSFT already has a substantial stake in Apple (since 1997). Yea, there's Linux, Unix, Solaris, FreeBSD, etc. But in the main stream market, most people only know Windows or Mac.
So, is this what we can look forward two? A semi-monopoly? What even happened to the good ole' competition of several different entities? Too much consolation will hurt the businesses that rely on either of these sites for searches. What about different point of views in terms of search related information? If there are only two, then the point of view will be very limited.
There is definitely too much consolidation going on here. I just hope that the US DOJ and the EU do something to stop the massive acquisitions.
I feel that all of what the Internet was created for is going away, and we are left with 100% commercialized thinking and point of view from the way THEY look at things.
Does anybody feel the same? Does anybody feel different? Does anybody feel that I am loosing my mind?