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Does this deal signal the end of Espotting in the long term in the UK? Obviously it will take time for the Overture take over to come in to effect, but I canít see Yahoo UK continuing to make profits for Espotting/Findwhat when they own Overture. So how long do Espotting have left on Yahoo? I would guess 6 months to a year.
And if Espotting lose Yahoo, who does that leave for them? They have a good, solid, number of "channel" partners, such as Ask Jeeves, Shopping.net, Kelkoo, Lycos etc, but no major pure search partners. In fact, their next biggest pure search partners looks like Euroseek and Abrexa(!).
Espotting have been spreading themselves abroad as well, although I donít know how much market share they have overseas.
Espotting are very similar to Findwhat in this respect; they have a lot of smaller partners but no other major engines. So I think that they will survive, but what kind of impact will a Yahoo loss have on their UK traffic? Halved? Is half the traffic enough to maintain the same top bid prices?
Another question is: how much faith will Espottingís other affiliates have in their long term future? Will we see some of the small/medium partners bailing out and moving over to Overture in preparation for an Espotting decline in bid prices?
And with more competition from Webfinder (Thomson Local) who are seeking affiliates aggressively and Mirago, who are having a resurgence, will Espotting be able to hang on to all of their partners?
And was the Espotting/Findwhat merger a pre-emptive strengthening arrangement to make the partnership more purchasable for someone like MSN? "Buy us and get properties in the US, UK and the rest of the world".
Overall, I think that this is a dreadful move for the UK. Overture will now appear on Yahoo, Ask Jeeves, Freeserve, Altavista, MSN, Tiscali and Lycos. That's 7 of the top 10 UK search properties. Let's pray for an MSN buyout of Espotting and Findwhat and get some competition back in the market.
But if I were MSN, I'd be waiting to allow the value of Findwhat / Espotting to drop before making any sort of move.
Good timing would allow them to purchase at a much lower price (if the Yahoo contract does not exist the value of their UK operation, the most profitable, is surely devalued) - provided that it has not gone so low as to lose infrastructure/people/other affiliates etc.
In the wait their biz dev team havea job on their hands only for thos affiliates who come to the end of their contract, the rest they can leave until after this episode is over.
So nothing for 6 months, then at the start of next year I think we will begin to see the earth move again!
(Probably completely off target, but if you don't shoot, you'll never hit!)
Yahoo! - Overture
Google - Adwords
MSN - Espotting/FindWhat
I agree with lukey though, that this will happen in months, not days or weeks.
Searchuno is now running Espotting and is dedicated to being a pure Search player.
Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that a contradiction?
Surely if you are running Espotting then there is paid results so how can it be pure search?
I think Espotting knew that this day was coming, they have worked very hard on the second and third tier publishers and locked them into longer term contracts which has to be a good move.
The only certainty is uncertainty.
I was led to believe that the Yahoo/Espotting contract was done on a month to month basis now, but may well be very wrong, you know what it's like when you eat, sleep and dream the stuff.
Anyway, I think espotting has been better at finding smaller isps/portals than overture - and more proactive towards people producing their own search engines (lower quality traffic).
Perhaps they will develop a strong search engine brand, after all Overture isn't quite as impartial as it once was :)
Web Diversity said: "Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that a contradiction? Surely if you are running Espotting then there is paid results so how can it be pure search?"
When I refer to pure Search player this refers to running Search services, as opposed to then bolting on things like webmail, web space, free dry cleaning and other non-search type things :) Espotting featured results help to keep the bank manager happy ;)
Hope that is clearer...