Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo and Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO seemed to have been talking about a partnership between the two companies regarding a search engine. Although there is some sort of denial to this news from some of the industry watchers, there are quite some facts that support this news.
Mark Zuckerberg frequently is talking bits and pieces about search. He believes that Facebook has a unique position in the online world. And, Zuckerberg has a different notion for search – not the kind upon which Google and Bing operate.
He also has plans to change the way we navigate the web (the link pattern). Zuckerberg says that Facebook already processes billions of queries everyday even though they’re not directly into the search business. Mark’s dream of having a search system for Facebook and the fact that there are already billions of queries on Facebook add to the fuel that Facebook will soon come up with a search system.
However, it is interesting to see how Yahoo comes into this picture. As of now, Yahoo outsources search to Microsoft and is not very happy with the budget on this outsource. As a result, Yahoo might end up the tie sometimes next year. On a sidetrack, the two ladies, Marissa and Sheryl have worked together at Google and are very well knowledged about this whole search business and have expertise on the topic.
Mayer and Zuckerberg have a very similar vision for a search system – they want things to be “person-based” as it is with Facebook. They want a machine to answer a person’s queries but the results should really be tailored for the person.
Here is the definition of an ideal search engine according to Mayer as she told the IDG News Service back in 2009:
It would be a machine that could answer that question, really. It would be one that could understand speech, questions, phrases, what entities you’re talking about, concepts. It would be able to search all of the world’s information, [find] different ideas and concepts, and bring them back to you in a presentation that was really informative and coherent.
Given the similar passion and a similar vision, it would be exciting to watch the two biggies combine. However to build an authoritative search system and to compete with Google will take a while. Nevertheless, if Facebook and Yahoo combine, there is so much money in the search game and a decent chunk of the pie is awaiting! Let’s see.