Lets consider the new definition of search
to mean finding products, apps, books, movies and music to DIRECTLY SELL which makes Amazon is a huge competitor.
means Kindle vs. Android and the entire ecosystem that goes along with it, they're locking horns in a major way. What most search literalists don't get is search is way beyond that little search box on the screen as it now includes all those devices that need information and media, plus shopping, that entire ecosystem is now search
Amazon is one of the top dogs with a killer ecosystem that was in place before it had all the delivery devices because others were providing them before Amazon got direct skin in the Android game.
Google is search converging on sales and Amazon is sales converging on search. Google has mobile devices, music, movies, books etc. vs Amazon with Kindle that pre-dated Android, and they had books, music and movies that also pre-dated Google Play. Don't forget Amazon has it's own private Android Marketplace for it's ever growing range of Kindle Android devices nipping even more at Google's profits. Plus the search engines are going trying to add sales and delivery such as Google's new delivery service, which also puts them into direct competition with Amazon.
It's a Vegas cage match for sure!
So they already compete in a very large way, just not over search market share, but that was only because Amazon dropped that ball.
Amazon was building a search engine started many years ago called A9 which is still online if you didn't know: [a9.com
It had some cool bleeding edge stuff back in the day but I haven't looked at it in a while but I do know some of the tech got rolled into Amazon.
A little direct history I know was from when my wife was on the founding team of Atomz.com, doing sweat equity before they even had an office. Atomz was an enterprise search engine, some of you may remember using their free site search long before Google even had site search. This is only relevant as one of their founderss who was a really bright search guy went to A9 a few years later.
So they were definitely building and recruiting actual people doing real web search technologies.
Where so you think the AWS with all that big cloud compute space came from? I think it was a left over artifact of scaling up a search engine that didn't go anywhere so they sold access to the resources left behind IMO.
Additionally, Amazon now has ads for external sites, people that advertised stuff that does not exist in Amazon or an Amazon store.
The other thing Amazon has hands down over Google is the fact that Amazon has a TON of hand curated content about nearly every product in the world and when people search for products, they tend to search at Amazon.
So basically Amazon with all these advertisers is already providing a search service, just not as big, and probably a lot safer since a lot of it is all hand curated and/or paid placement which eliminates most spammers and scammers.
When Google says they fear Amazon, it's probably not just the search itself unless you translate the word "SEARCH" to "ADVERTISING" aka AdWords, and in that respect, Amazon is a clear and present danger.
Most of what people do is search for products and considering Amazon sells almost everything on the planet and delivers it free and quick to us Amazon Prime members, it's a VERY clear and present danger since people can search Amazon directly on Amazon and skip the Google middleman and AdWords altogether.
None of that even has anything to do with search traffic technically but it could translate into Amazon ultimately being a full portal to everything which IMO is way overdue.