Search in discount war for market share

AUSTRALIA has become a battleground for search engines Yahoo! and Google, with both companies offering small businesses free packages to get them on the ad-search drip.

Yahoo! said it would invest $24 million in the Australian market in an effort to thwart a $75 offer from Google to small businesses.

Local marketing press speculated yesterday Yahoo! could give $150 packages for free to up to 160,000 business. B&T said this would “trump” the Google offer.

Yahoo! is offering the skills of an in-house team to help new advertisers choose key words, create auctions and even develop a better website.

Willie Pang, who runs Yahoo! search marketing, claimed 40,000 businesses had dabbled in search – a number that was not independently verified at his press conference yesterday to launch the new initiative, called Big Bang.

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