The San Francisco Business Times reports Internet search company Ask Jeeves Inc. will spend $343 million — $150 million of that in cash — to buy Interactive Search Holdings, another online search and media company. Interactive Search Holdings owns several online search brands, including My Way and Excite. The purchase will double the market share of Ask Jeeves.
This should not be viewed as a just bubbling of the dot com economy again, though things are starting to perk out here on the West coast. What it means is that search engines have significant value, even those not drawing large traffic.
Search engines are valuable as 63% of consumers do research on the net before buying a service or product. As these consumers are becoming more sophisticated Internet users they are using search engines as opposed to looking to directories, portals or super sites, whatever you want to call a site to one browses by category and/or locale.
Lawyers need to take note of this by making sure that people can find them in search engines. The best way to do that is to have relevant info people are looking for about the legal situation they face and to update their site on a regular basis. Those things with a little search engine optimization will get a lawyer to the top of the search engine results.