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However, I'm not so interested in them 'competing more directly with ink' but seeing them get much needed capital, and hardware to expand their search and make their freely searchable, free inclusion database that much better.
If they were able to accomplish all this in such a short time, imagine how much more they can do with the right funds ? Should be interesting to see.
Google has no competition, and this could launch them into the right position to compete head on as a free engine.
So, the only thing left is of course pay for spidering. Which they will doubtless offer, as Ask did when they finally rolled out their version of the Teoma Search engine.
But, what good is a paid for spidering database that nobody uses? Who gets decent traffic from looksmart? (aside from that their partners might give you) The traffic from them is dismal.
And everybody is getting sick and tired of commercial listings which begs the question: what's LookSmart going to do?
Well, to have a searchable database, they need to have pages included. Then, they can layer in paid stuff, which is fine...but, if they do the first part right, they can boost the revenues in their other paid schemes, and perhaps not resort to the same webmaster unfriendly marketing tactics that some pay to include spider programs have utilized (cough, no need to name names).
So I guess I'm saying I expect them to launch a pay for inclusion scheme with this, too...but, if they try and actually do something with it, it could be huge. How else can they challenge Google? Because it seems to me, in the pay per click, Yahoo / Ink have got them beat, and in directory listings, Yahoo is winning out there, too.
So what market could they be hoping to conquer? Aside from that, I believe they are a partner of Inktomi's for some things...so this relationship could have some surprises, at least, imho.