Don Dodge is always doing great, straightforward biz math over at his blog and today is no exception. He looks at Search biz and search revenues and concludes that one percent of the search market is worth about a billion bucks.
I think that the key concept in play right now is “advertising”. This is contrary to many silly protestations of the big players who claim that “user centric computing” is the key to success. I do think that many on the development teams actually believe their own hype, but it’s clear from the behaviors and allocations of resources that ads are the online king and will remain the key development driver for some time.
Can you have ads and good user stuff? Of course you can. Google has done the best job with this though I think they are now on a slippery slope with more ads, more ambiguous ads, and considerable collateral damage in the spam wars, but can you blame them when, as Don points out, there are billions on the table and a lot of potential players waiting for a piece of the search action.