The Value of Search

The folks at McKinsey have generated an intersting paper about the value add of Internet search engines ( The impact of Internet technologies: Search) to the global economy.  An excerpt follows:

  • “Using country-level analysis as a base, we estimated that the total gross value of Internet search across the global economy was $780 billion in 2009, equivalent to the GDP of the Netherlands or Turkey. By this estimate, each search is worth about $0.50.”
McKinsey notes that a good portion of the value of search is “…captured by individuals rather than companies, in the form of consumer surplus…. such as lower prices, convenience and time saved…”
It is difficult to understand how things like search, mobility and location based services are changing the way they work, but one senses that the impact is both large and complicated.  And, it looks like this change will accelerate: the article notes that search using social media and search of unstructured content (e.g. video, photos, social media) have only just begun to get traction.  Interesting article here about how retailers are beginning to search unstructured data to market better.

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