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Search Engines Make Rich Americans

09/23/05

The annual Forbes Richest Americans rankings were released today. It comes as no shock that many of the individuals who made the list owe it all to computer technology and the internet. It is, however, somewhat surprising how many of these individuals made their fortunes by building search engine and online portal empires given the fact that the market is still in its relative infancy.

Five search engine founders/pioneers are among the 100 richest Americans according to Forbes' most recent list. These men are...

Ranking Name Search Engine Net Worth
#16 Sergey Brin Google $11 Billion
#16 Larry Page Google $11 Billion
#52 Eric Schmidt Google $4 Billion
#73 David Filo Yahoo $3 Billion
#93 Jerry Yang Yahoo $2.5 Billion

Several other men are now associated with leading search engines such as MSN and Ask Jeeves are also among the 100 richest Americans, though they had previously earned their fortunes through other ventures.

Marketing revenue has been the primary contributor to the success of the businesses that have made these rich Americans. Such revenue is driven, in part, by quality search results that provide user loyalty. Most leading engines still include websites in their search indexes free from charge because without a high quantity of unpaid listings the search results would be less complete and therefor less valuable to searchers. Without the resulting consistent search volume, there would be fewer ads impressions and, therefor, lower advertising revenues.

Thus, there are still many opportunities to leverage the success of search engines without spending a penny. The Forbes list proves that there has been a successful niche in online business despite a period of internet start up failure. Now, any new or future online business can and should use search engine marketing to leverage this success to their advantage.

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