Buyout The Best Sites, Beat Google

    May 15, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Mark Cuban suggested Yahoo or Microsoft could payoff the top five sites for each of the top 25,000 queries on Google, have those sites leave the Google index for good, and bring Google’s normal traffic for those sites into the rival fold.

Tech billionaire and NBA team owner Cuban must still be reeling from his Mavericks being ousted from the playoffs already. He’s got a doozy of a post up on his always entertaining Blog Maverick site about beating Google the old fashioned way, by buying off their most valuable search results.

“How many websites would have to recuse themselves from the Google Index before Google Search was negatively impacted?” he asked. “A theoretical maximum of 125k sites, but with overlap, probably closer to 100k or less, times how much per site on average?”

Cuban’s post included the suggestion these sites dump Google’s publisher network in favor of the one operated by whoever buys them out, effectively recouping whatever investment the rival site made to get those sites out of Google’s index and revenue stream.

Per site, it could be a lot. Financially, a Microsoft possesses the resources to pull this off, but the real issue isn’t the sites, but the searchers who expect to find the best results for a top query when using Google.

John Battelle flatly stated “no one would do it,” as far as selling out and leaving Google entirely. He suggested Cuban should try the strategy out, since he has the money to do it.

Inertia presents the real problem in getting people to switch search engines. They use Google out of habit, plus the idea that everyone “Googles” anyway. There’s no motivation to switch. People would just treat the next batch of search results as the ones they want and click from there.

“Time to go back to the drawing board on beating Google,” Andrew Parker said of Cuban’s suggestion. Indeed, it seems it will take a lot more than money to overcome the inertia that keeps people tied to Google today.