A famous loose-cannon/American billionaire has a plan for unseating Google from its search-engine throne - and at a mere $1bn, his idea is significantly less expensive than the billions Microsoft is sinking into that Bing thing.
Broadcast.com co-founder and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's idea is simplicity itself: Just pay the top 1,000 websites a million bucks per to de-list themselves from Google.
After all, if Rupert Murdoch is planning to do so for free, perhaps some long-green incentivizing can persuade others to follow that media mogul's lead.
Despite ranking 139th on the Forbes list of "The 400 Richest Americans 2009", Cuban's just a regular guy with simple entertainment predilections. After all, as he explains in a blog post: "Is there anything more fun than sitting around, growing your hair, drinking a Bud while listening to Jethro Tull and pondering how to change the balance of power in the search world and unseat Google?"
Not to Mark, apparently.
"What would happen if MicroSoft [sic] or Yahoo or a MicroHoo went to the 5 top results for the top 25k searches," he muses, "and paid them to leave the Google Index?"
He further refines the proposal thusly: "Would the top 1k most visited sites take a cool $1mm each, plus a commitment from MicroSoft or Yahoo to drive traffic through their search engines to more than make up for the lost Google Traffic." (Insert your own [sic]s as you see fit).
Lousy search results, Cuban theorizes, would doom Google. "After all, once consumers realized that Google no longer had valid search results for the top 25k searchs, that traffic would most likely go to MicroSoft and Yahoo."
Toss in some free ads on YaBing!, preferential search-result placement, and ad-network sweeteners, and Cuban's idea starts to sound ... well, if not reasonable, then at least not completely off-the-wall.
If nothing else, it might give all those legal folks made redundant by the recent AMD-Intel rapprochement something to sink their teeth into. After all, they've spent the past year or so boning up on anticompetitive case law. ®