I’m writing this on the way back from the last day of the Internet World conference, and overall I’d say it was an interesting day out!

There was the usual barage of email marketers, SEO-ers and hosting companies and at least one “newly invented brand new product” that has of course been done before, and better, for less, if you look around online. But I had a good chat with a translation company with a keen eye for SEO and I caught the 2 talks I wanted by Webcredibles and practically local Bath based EduServ. 

It was also interesting hearing about how Yahoo and Microsoft are launching their Search Alliance – where the two Intenet giants are combining forces to take on search rival Google. The idea behind the merger – which will only be relevant to search, not to any of the companies other online activities – is so that advertisers only have one platform to add, update and monitor their ads through, saving them time and subsequently money (in a “time is money” sense). 
They also hope the alliance will help the faster growth of innovation between them, which makes sense.

However, the stat that stood out most to me from Yahoo’s UK and Ireland Head of Search and Display Account Management spokesman Jon Myers’ talk to me, was the fact that Google have 90% share of the search market in the UK currently. I’m not really surprised, because everyone I know uses Google (except for my Mum actually, she uses Bing!) but it’s still an impressive figure when you hear it stated by the opposition. So by joining forces Yahoo and Microsoft’s Search Alliance raises their market share to 10%…. basically, by grouping their shares together it sounds fractionally more impressive!

The talk left me wondering though – as any presentation of a new business does – how will Yahoo and Bing (or YaBing as I might now call them, in a celeb mag stylee) actually increase their market share of searches carried out in the UK? So they provide a good advertising service – as a consumer I’m not going to change search engine because the ads are better! I ignore the ads. Yahoo will apparently show Bing’s search results – and they’ve gone to great lengths to market themselves as a decision engine – but even if their results are better – how are they going to get people to see that? I know they’ve got a huge marketing programme going on, and I know the point of today’s talk was to tell us all about paid search – but before I pay for any advertising, I want to know how many people are going to see it. So how they’re going to increase their user base is more important to me than the nifty videos that’ll show in results. So I’ll watch that space and will be genuinely interested to see how these two giants – with their powers combined – take on the beast that is Google.