Carving Out Markets
According to James Speer, general manager of Search Marketing at New York-based IAC Advertising Solutions, the integration with Office Live will "make it easy for marketers to extend their pay-per-click ad campaigns to Ask.com and our syndication network." In related search engine news, ComScore released June search share data July 16 that showed that Microsoft has gained ground against Google and Yahoo. As Microsoft Watch reports, Microsoft was the only search provider to gain market share from May to June. Three of the top five search vendorsGoogle, Time Warner and Yahootogether lost 2.9 percent market share, with Microsoft apparently snatching share from them, gaining 2.9 percent month over month. Click here to read about Microsofts recent update to Live Meeting.While Microsoft is talking to other search engines and advertising networks that are a good fit as places for its customers to place their ads, there is nothing specific to announce on that front at this time, Cetinok said."This is a journey and our vision is not going to be delivered with all the proof-points on Day One. Additional search engines and business listings will be added to this tool over time," he said. Search marketing has emerged as a $15.8 billion global industry and experts predict it will grow to $44.5 billion over the next five years, he said. A report by investment bank and institutional securities firm Piper Jaffray, titled "The User Revolution: The New Advertising Ecosystem and the Rise of the Internet as a Mass Medium," found that search is the second most commonly used application on the Web, with some 550 million searches taking place every day in the United States alone. Local search, which accounted for some 15 percent of total online ad spending, is also growing as more businesses look to target their ads to a specific region. "Local search results are very important to small businesses, so Ask.com and Microsoft are complementary partners in this regard," Cetinok said. How closely is Microsoft modeling its Windows Live search offering on Googles search service? Click here to read more. Search ads are text-based ads displayed on a search results page that look very similar to search results displayed in the main body of the page, but are labeled as advertisements. Advertisers are charged only when their ads are clicked. AdManager facilitates this pay-per-click advertising process for small businesses. While Microsoft, based in Redmond, Wash., has "formidable" competitors in the search ad space, "We are currently uniquely positioned to be a true one-stop-shop providing all of these services to small businesses under a single umbrella," Cetinok said. Cetinok said Office Live would be taking a similar one-stop-shop approach with its upcoming Commerce solution, which would allow customer products to be listed for sale on other marketplaces like eBay. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on enterprise search technology.