The Financial Times, NY Times, Reuters and the AP reported that Microsoft is expected to launch its new web search engine tomorrow, November 11, 2004. This is anticipated to be among the main challanges to Google’s dominance of the search engine market place. While it is expected that Yahoo’s subsidiary Overture will continue to supply sponsored search results to MSN Search, the organic search results will be provided by Microsoft’s own search engine rather than Yahoo! Search. This will further reshuffle the search engines market place which as of May 2004 looked like this (image by SearchEngineWatch):comScore Media's estimate of search engine market share as of May 2004

AOL continues to serve both organic and sponsored search results from Google’s search engine and AdWords pay-per-click program. In unrelated news, Google launched Google Advertising Professionals program and AdWords Learning Center in responce to Overture’s Ambassador program.

Online Holiday Shopping to Exceed $15 Billion This Year According to comScore Forecast

comScore Networks today released its forecast of online consumer spending for the 2004 holiday season. comScore reports that consumer spending on non-travel goods at U.S. Web sites will exceed $15 billion during the November through December holiday season, representing growth of approximately 23% to 26% over the 2003 season.

comScore Networks’ press release quotes “consumers’ growing familiarity and confidence with online shopping, coupled with a dramatic increase in broadband penetration and continuing efforts by retailers to simplify the shopping process across channels” as the major reason behind the optimistic forecast of substantial gains for online merchants in 2004. In a separate forecast, Jeff Bezos anticipates the 2004 holiday season to be a record one for Amazon.com.

WebSage is preparing to publish a checklist of search engine marketing best practices to help e-commerce businesses prepare their web sites for the holidays. Let us know if you would like to receive a free copy of this search engine marketing guidebook.