I predict the score will be Microsoft - 0, Yahoo - 0, Google - 0, and you - 0.
All of Google's revenue comes from pay-per-click (PPC), 99% of it or something anyway. Everything else they've tried hasn't worked. They're not as smart as everyone thinks. They're a one trick pony, and their shining moment in the sun will last far fewer years than Microsoft's did.
In this article right here on Inc.com, Anita Campbell says essentially that the Yahoo/Microsoft merger will be a good thing in that it will make Google compete. Oh how I wish it were so. I hope she's right, but I doubt it.
I've been an avid user of just about every PPC engine around since the idea was invented about 8 or 9 years ago. Journyx received IPO stock in Goto.com (which became Overture, and then Yahoo) because we were one of their first customers. Google copied them, basically, and then did it much better, which is why they're winning - for now.
But after Overture was bought by Yahoo, Yahoo screwed it up. Their PPC machine is so hard to use now that it barely functions. Microsoft has their own and I've never used it because they told me I'd have to dismantle my Yahoo store before I could pile in. I imagine they've changed that rule by now but that's not where the traffic is anyway.
Most searches happen on Google. On my computer, right this minute, google.com takes 3 seconds to load. Yahoo.com takes 13 seconds. Msn.com takes 20.
It's as simple as that, and it always will be. We just do not live in an age where people want to waste time waiting for blinky ads to load. Google so far seems to still get that.
Anita's argument appears to be that maybe if two screwed up entities are merged they'll get smarter due to more resources etc.
I really doubt it. They don't have a lack of resources today, they have a lack of leadership, vision and good management. Google really isn't that superior, they're just "less bad" at the moment. The interface that an advertiser must put up with in Google Adwords has become increasingly complicated and slow over the last few years. Google.com may load quick but Adwords does not.
The industry is ripe for someone with half a brain to come along and do PPC right, but it won't happen at Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft. They just don't get it.