Will The Blogosphere Suffer From A Microsoft-Yahoo Merger?
Never since the days of the net bubble has the web held its collective breath (or prepared the popcorn) regarding the Microsoft-Yahoo drama.
The affair has become so large (or bad, depending on your point of view) that non-geeks are even starting to talk about it (at least around this author anyways). But while some argue in favor of the “inevitable merger,” the Microsoft-Yahoo deal (aka MicroHoo) may potentially affect the entire blogosphere–for the worse.
While there is no need to go screaming like chicken little regarding the potential melding of the tech giants, the blogosphere should consider the potential setbacks for such a merger.
If the Microsoft-Yahoo deal goes through, bloggers will have two very large competitors (who probably loathe the other entirely) to deal with regarding SEO. With most of the world’s market held in the pocket of “MicroHoo” and the Google Goliath, bloggers will be forced to conform to the wishes of either party, or face the wrath of having their site “disappear” from the web altogether.
If SEO were not bad enough, advertising may be worse. Since a large portion of advertisers are probably concerned with attracting the masses to their site/product, many of them may simply opt to only use either Google and/or MircoHoo (as it would enable them to reach the vast majority of users and let both companies work “their magic”).
While there will probably be other alternatives for generating revenue (such as affiliates), bloggers may simply opt for using Google and MicroHoo for their CPC/CPM ads due to the fact that both of these companies would have deep enough pockets to “buy loyalty” via paying out higher premiums (and thus killing off smaller competitors).
With no major third party in the arena to potentially shake up things, either side could simply create rules forbidding their rival’s ads from being displayed on the same page as their own, which means bloggers could be forced to choose which company they would prefer being captive towards.
Some may consider these arguments as nothing more than “blog worry,” as many are seeking a rival to counter Google’s dominance in the web. After all, wouldn’t a merger between Yahoo and Microsoft benefit consumers?
It probably would, only if you consider duopolies a good thing, especially when one looks at American politics (among other examples) who may be more interested in winning the “loyalty battle” instead of helping solve their clients problems.
Perhaps this author is wrong and does not see the benefit of a counterweight towards Google (something one can enlighten me in the comments below). But if one’s options for the web only include two predominate choices, the internet in the future may resemble more of a yin-yang rather than a multicolored rainbow (with a pot of gold at the end).
Darnell Clayton is a geek who discovered blogging long before he heard of the word "blog" (he called them "web journals" then). When he is not tweeting, friendfeeding, or blogging about space, he enjoys running, reading and describing himself in third person.
I wish the buyout was the other way around, then we all would be referring to the new company as…
Wow, I’ve never thought about the merger from this point of view. Thanks for the insight. Being a part-time day-trader the drama has made me a nice chuck of change though.
Thanks for expressing it with such amazing clarity so that everyone can understand the issues involved. Too bad it cant be referred to the EU Competition Regulator.