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Googamazon: could Google and Amazon merge?

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Published: 2003-08-13T17:21:28-05:00


Googamazon: could Google and Amazon merge?


What if Google and Amazon merged to form huge online company, Googamazon? At first, it may seem like the two companies are different. One is the leader in search and content-targeted advertising, while the other is the leader of online retailer of books and other products. We know that Google and Amazon already have a partner relationship - amazon users can use Google to search the web from the Amazon site and Google AdWords are also displayed on some Amazon pages. But that doesn't seem like enough to warrant a merger, does it? It seems to me that Google is currently looking for ways to improve its search engine. With Microsoft crawling the web and Yahoo! buying Inktomi and Overture/FAST/Altavista, Google knows that real competition is on the way. Google also knows that it has a head start, and I think it plans to make the most of it. But what does Amazon have to offer Google that would help compete with MS and Y!? I think the answer is in the area of profile-based relevance. I've blogged previously about the potential to use profile information about the searcher to help improve search relevance. Amazon has gotten very good at learning about visitors to their site. Amazon remembers which products you have viewed recently, and combines this information with the products that other visitors have view in common (ie. people who bought this, also bought that). Amazon used these techniques extensively to encourage to buy more products. In this regard, Google is stupid and forgetful. No matter how many apple picking search results you have clicked on in the past hour, when you search for "apple macintosh", Google still shows you a computer company as the number one result. Now if Google use this Amazon technology to learn about searchers, and combine that information with the pattern of of searchers, Google would be able to improve search relevancy tremendously, while at the same time improving the relevancy of content-targeted ads.