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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Can Yahoo! And Walla! Challenge Google In Israel?

It looks like one of Google's biggest competitors will be entering Israeli cyberspace to challenge the search engine king on the holy land home front.

But instead of challenging Google on its own strength, Yahoo! has decided to partner with Walla! in a bid to take on the digital Goliath.

(Globes Online) Walla! CEO Ilan Yeshua told "Globes", "We signed a long-term agreement with Yahoo! that enables us to use its innovative search technology. The agreement follows the launch of our search engine at the beginning of the year. The business has caught on, and succeeded, with a great many advertisers already signing up." [...]

When asked if he believed that Walla! could create genuine competition for Google, he replied, "We don’t expect to win half of the search market in Israel, but we expect to become a significant player in Israel, and we'll grab a substantial portion of the market."

While it is good to see Yahoo! wisely partnering up with Walla!, what they need to do is seek (and buy out) a few Israeli startups that can challenge the Google giant on search engine kings weaker fronts (like Froogle).

If not, Google will simply buy out companies with potential (like they did last time), leaving their competitors to settle for either the silver or the bronze.

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