Microsoft Aims at Google: This is fresh off the press. Please note that we have not seen the new crawler on any of our servers as of this morning, but we wanted you to be aware of it so you can watch your logs over the next few weeks.
Microsoft has reportedly released “Microsoft Prototype Crawler”. The timing of this release is interesting, as Microsoft’s contract with LookSmart ends soon. Microsoft is taking a different route than normal, actually developing technology instead of taking it and repackaging it as their own. They have increased their search staff by three fold over the last 90 days.
Both Yahoo! and Microsoft have publicly targeted Google. We will watch for Google’s response and track any new developments in this area for you.
If Microsoft ends up releasing this new crawler officially, there will be four main players in the search engine arena over the next 12 months: Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Overture. These four should control over 95% of the search engine market. This would be good news for you, as it makes your marketing strategy simplistic with only four sources. Who is left out in the cold? LookSmart. They may not survive without Microsoft as a client.