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That would be kind of a neat twist. Or show the Google version of revalent ODP categories first on the SERPS like many did back in the old days.
On the MSN question: if I were MSN I would be calling FAST right about now.
AOL needs to be a value add. Google is not going to get AOL-type users just off word of mouth. AOL fights MSN and Yahoo for the "regular" users.
Good search results help them. They also help Yahoo. In fact, Yahoo and AOL would love a world where everyone provides the "same" results (except maybe MSN who provides crap). In that world AOL keeps their users in their sphere, and Yahoo grabs the rest (plus people that like the Yahoo enhanced search results... their directory is pretty good for short queries, Google pretty good for deep queries).
AOL is trying to provide the best service they can for their users so that they keep them. The revenue, if any, that they made of Inktomi is negligable compared to keeping people in the AOL world.
Remember, if AOL users do AOL searches, they get AOL properties before anything else. Without "better" alternatives to AOL search, no need for them to get off the reservation.
If one SE, Google so dominates the marketplace with paid listings, what do SEOs do beyond tweaking adwords?
Should we expect other SE's to fold leaving AOL/Google and MSN to dominate? Is Yahoo doomed?
Will small businesses be forced to SPAM because they can't compete with the deep pockets of bigger competitors?
Merrill Lynch has downgraded Overture shares to a "buy".
Over the long run, this may be viewed as just a blip. Remember Overture stock price jumped 32% on Friday when it announced the Yahoo deal.
It still has its deals in place with AltaVista, Lycos, MSN and Yahoo but losing a deal this big has to shake up Overture.
The pay for performace SE model still seems to have some life left in it.
If I were the managing director of Yahoo, I think I would have been more concerned about how Google reacted to the news that Yahoo was going with Overture's paid results several months back!
Personally, I couldn't care less what Yahoo thinks. They, (like L$) don't give a hoot about their customers and are losing market share every day to Google. In the words of the profit ... "What goes around, comes around".
GO GOOGLE!!! Put another notch on the "good guys" SE gun ...