Solving the Real Problem
It is apparently galling to Microsoft that it wont be easy for it to knock Google from its position as the dominant search engine in the same way Microsoft took over other markets, from Web browsers to spreadsheets. Instead, Google is proving to be a growth engine that looks very much like the youthful Microsoft when it began its relentless expansion trend in the 80s. Microsoft is finding it hard to win points from the nimble and aggressive Google.So Microsoft does what it always does in these situations.It shadows its adversary with its own announcements about Microsoft search, messaging and its recent Office Live and Windows Live offerings. Regardless of Microsofts motives for producing the study, typo-squatting and the exploitation of Googles AdSense service are problems that need to be solved. People should have confidence that they wont be transferred to pornography sites or other junk sites because they entered a single mistaken character in a Web address. Web advertisers have a right to know that their ad dollars are bringing eyeballs to their own sites and helping sell products and not just enriching some scammer. Click here to read what effect Googles deal with AOL could have on the competitive landscape in the instant messenger market. If Google wants AdSense to be a long-term and lucrative success that is valued by advertisers for its integrity and effectiveness, it should put the companys considerable technological expertise toward solving this problem. The public at large as well as advertisers are defrauded every time some stumble-fingered Web surfer is misdirected to some useless site that was created as a porn-portal or as an automated ad-revenue generation engine. The Web should not be reduced to some electronic shell game by scammers who have nothing to sell and whose only asset is an incidental ability to generate revenue from random ad clicks. Now that it has gone to considerable lengths to air Googles dirty linen, it would be interesting to see if Microsoft could engineer a search-driven online advertising system that would display any greater integrity than Googles AdSense. Its quite possible that Microsoft would accept widespread misuse of advertising system if it could supplant Google as the dominant search engine. John Pallatto is a veteran journalist in the field of enterprise software and Internet technology. He can be reached at email@example.com. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.