Despite the fact that I dropped my YHOO shares last month (still slapping myself), I do think the idea of an MSNHoo! merger is a good one. And I don't think it's only good for MSN and Hoo! I think it's good for the search marketing industry in general.

For too long, we've all heard the hackneyed response to this:

"I'm in Google-Hell! I'm going to die, and my children are going to starve … "

of

"Well, duh, you should have diversified!"

My reaction to that has always been "OK, in what?" I've been plenty of (usually small) businesses that rely on organic search results, for better or for worse, and don't really have any appealing available alternatives.

The merger of Yahoo!/Overture and AdCenter would also be interesting. The aggregate of that traffic would make the platform more appealing to advertisers. Right now, there are murmurs that Panama is driving less and less traffic; I hear the same for AdCenter. The nightmarish scenario of merging two similar (but with totally different implementation) technologies notwithstanding, the combination of the two would become a formidable alternative to Google's ad platform.

Yes, it would mean one less search engine — and hence, technically, less diversification. We have all seen our analytics, though. We all know traffic from Google often dwarfs that of Yahoo! and MSN combined — regardless of what the various published statistics seem to indicate. The combination of MSN and Yahoo! would be interesting, and will cook up some competition for the big G as well.

Perhaps, then, we can stop praying to our respective Gods imploring that a seemingly capricious electronic ranking algorithm of Google doesn't smite us. Then we can pray that both don't, and we can still feed our children while one of them figures out that we really wear white hats with matching halos. In other words, relying on organic search traffic is a frightening liability right now; but it wouldn't be if Google didn't have a stranglehold on organic traffic.

Yes, MSNHoo! is a good thing. Blessed be MSNHoo! Amen, Selah!

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