In the kingdom of search engines, Google wears the crown. According to market analysis firm comScore, Google handles more than 60 percent of all search traffic on the Web. Yahoo and Microsoft account for nearly 30 percent of the rest of the search market [source: Zafra]. Smaller search engines pick up the rest.
But in 2009, Yahoo and Microsoft formed a partnership that could change the search engine market. The plan calls for Microsoft to provide the search engine capability on Yahoo's new landing page. Yahoo will concentrate on creating and linking to content, acting as a portal to other sites.
But that's not the end of the story. The two companies designed the deal as a 10-year partnership. Although Microsoft's technology will power Yahoo searches, Yahoo hasn't thrown in the towel on search-engine development. The company plans to continue researching and developing new search engine techniques and tools. Meanwhile, Microsoft has abandoned its Live Search tools in favor of a new product called Bing.
Upon its debut, Bing sapped some of Google's market share. But as of October 2009, Google regained that share at the expense of Yahoo. The three companies will continue their struggle in 2010.