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Can Microsoft Buy Google? Let's Strategize.
May 22, 2008

So Steve Ballmer, who recently had eggs hurled at him during a speech he gave to a classroom full of students, wants to beat that darn old Google. He wants to make Eric Schmidt pay for making him #3. He is going to buy Yahoo and show that Eric Schmidt a thing or two. You don't mess with Steve. No one does okay! You better say sorry if you mess with Steve, cause he will just spend all of his money and some of the bank’s and buy you out.

Well as many of you have already said, this has to be the dumbest move ever made by a corporation. Let's see, MSN has about 6% market share, Yahoo has about 25% market share. So that is about 31% market share. Yet Google has about 60% market share. So even if Microsoft finally goes into debt buying Yahoo search, they become the proud owners of a silver medal. How many of you remember who got the silver medal at the Olympics? How many of you want to invest not in best in breed, but in second best in breed? Hmmm. Come on at least one of you will surely pour loads of money into Microsoft stock!

Well, Mr. Ballmer you cannot ever beat Google this way. Sorry friend you have lost already. The only way to beat Google is if they self-destruct or if you build a better search engine. Can Google self-destruct you ask? Of course they can. If for example Google started to bring up more and more non-commercial sites and you were searching for a commercial site, you would eventually stop searching Google and look elsewhere. Hey maybe even Yahoo or why not...MSN.

Will Google ever make such a mistake? Maybe, anything is possible. If Google had remained a private company, they would never have the pressure of a public quarterly report, or the pressure from stockholders to constantly beat expectations. So they would never have the need to skew the results towards non-commercial sites, as they wouldn't be interested in squeezing out every penny they can from advertisers. Hey $100 million dollars for a private company is a whole lotta mullah. However, $100 million dollars to a public company barely covers their lawsuit payouts for the quarter. Plus a public company has to always beat analyst expectations. Each quarter they have to do better than expected. If they do, their stock price goes up and everybody goes home in a limousine. If they don't beat quarterly expectations, heads roll and people lose their jobs.

So, Google may self-destruct if they are forced to find ways to slowly, I mean very slowly start skewing the search results in the favor of non-commercial sites. They might even assign Google evangelists to go out and tell the public to write lots and lots of content and use their own free tools like blogspot and blogger to fill up hundreds of pages of anecdotal stories all the while commercial sites sink in the rankings.

Sticking to my fictional story line, if Google tries to slowly skew higher non-commercial site results, people that are searching for vendors will get disappointed and turn elsewhere. Advertisers will notice the decrease in clicks and walla, ad spending goes down, quarterly reports go down, and thus the stock price goes down. The domino effect.

Another scenario Microsoft might be hoping for is to have Google's image in the media be tarnished. For example, if it were to come out that click fraud is rampant and even worst yet Google cannot do anything to stop it, advertisers will be turned off and they will turn off all their content partner ads in Google. I’m sure Microsoft brains are right now scouring the Internet to try to find some Google insider that will give them some juicy inside information on what Google knows about click fraud.

Here’s a totally unsolicited tip Mr. Ballmer. Instead of worrying about Google, you have been wasting time worrying about Yahoo. In my opinion, there is no way on God's green earth that Microsoft can ever beat Google by purchasing other search engines. Sorry Mr. Ballmer, but your strategy stinks! You cannot muscle your way into #1. The love of the people makes you number one, not the sheer will of money. Take the high road. Built a better search engine and people will turn to you…Just my 2 cents.

Moral of the story: Don’t mess with Steve Ballmer or else he will spend all his money and some of the bank’s money to ruin you, but in the end you will still come out on top:)





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