SMX West: John Battelle Predicts the 2009 Search Industry (10:24)

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Predictions are exciting. They’re even better when they come from a credible source, someone such as John Battelle. He has been giving yearly predictions on the search, technology, and media industries since 2004 and has been quite accurate. WebProNews caught up with Battelle at SMX West and asked him about a few of his predictions for 2009.

Microsoft has been the topic of a lot of people’s conversation this year, so it is really no surprise that the company made Battelle’s list of predictions. Specifically, the prediction reads:

“Microsoft will gain at least five points of search share in 2009, perhaps as much as 10.”

The giant company now stands in third place behind Yahoo and Google with a 6-10 percent holding. So how are they going to gain search share? Battelle says the company is very serious about winning the search game.

He also points out the company has a lot of money and that the world is essentially driven by money. One way Microsoft could increase their search share is to buy Yahoo, AOL, or even Firefox. Another option he discloses is that Microsoft could make a deal with a company such Dell or HP.

Yahoo makes another one of Battelle’s predictions. Speaking on behalf of all the recent dire news about the Sunnyvale-based company, Battelle says:

” I think Yahoo’s coming out of a long winter.”

He says Yahoo’s new CEO, Carol Bartz, is a very capable leader for the company and will help to revive its purpose. He still suspects Yahoo will make a search deal with AOL or Microsoft, but says:

“I will not count them [Yahoo] out.”

Although it’s not one of his direct predictions for 2009, Battelle talks about a new form of search that will become more and more prevalent with time. As he explains in this video, search is our interface to the Internet and the way we navigate. The new interface would allow Web users to search in forms other than text, in forms such as image, video, and sound.

As stated earlier, John Battelle has been very accurate in his yearly predictions, so it will be interesting to see how 2009 plays out.

Posted in: John Battelle, Search Engines, SEO, SMX West 2009
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