In a recent article [Web – An Information Market and its Market Makers], we viewed the web as an information market and analysed its market makers.
Web market makers vary widely from small SEO (search engine optimization) consulting firms up to the Big three of the search industry. The maturity of these different types of web activity, varies substantially.
The search engine market has reached maturity and is yielding major revenue streams to the big players. Consolidation in this market has started years ago with acquisitions by the major players (Yahoo!, Ask.com) and increasing market shares of the few major competitors (Google held more than 42% of the search space, while the big three held more than 80% in the US market, according to Comscore in mid 2006). The search engine market is expected to continue consolidating, though niche players active on certain vertical markets (e.g. real estate), shall continue independently. This is because the search market has characteristics of a market for few players: perceived quality of service (search engine functionality