2003 was dominated by Google who continued to increase their market share to over 32% of direct searches and 76% if you count indirect Google searches carried out on sites like Yahoo. For full details visit: http://searchenginewatch.com/reports/article.php/256431

Taking into account Google’s “search syndication” (indirect searches) reveals that this company has a firm grip on the search engine scene:

The major brands Yahoo and MSN both have strategies to try and regain their market share.

Google’s Plans for 2004

Analysts’ estimate Google’s value at $15 billion to $20 billion, and they say an IPO could generate up to $4 billion. The company won’t release figures, but analysts have estimated its annual revenue at $500 million to more than $1 billion, with profits in the range of $150 million to $300 million. The money pours in along two primary paths: by giving advertisers the chance to display links to their sites based on a user’s search terms, and by providing Google search capability on other Web sites — such as AOL and washingtonpost.com. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A11326-2004Jan12)

However, it appears that Google is not in a hurry for an IPO �V according to chairman Eric Schmidt the current marketing conditions are not right ((http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9075-981726,00.html)

Yahoo’s Plans for 2004

Yahoo who is currently powered by Google will be dropping this arrangement and will soon be switching its main search results to Inktomi which it purchased last year (http://www.forbes.com/2002/12/23/cx_ah_1223yahoo.html).
Yahoo also currently operates three different crawler services: Inktomi, AltaVista and AllTheWeb. Eventually, these are all expected to be merged into a single crawler. Yahoo also owns Overture which powers paid text ads similar to Google Adwords.

MSN’s Plans for 2004

MSN has dropped its main search results provider Looksmart and is now powered by Inktomi. It is currently developing its own search engine crawler which it plans to switch to before the end of the year. Inktomi now powers most MSN site search however Looksmart NZ listings are still live on XtraMSN. Currently MSN uses its own internal featured sites search engine and Overture to power its text ads.