back to article Mark Cuban counsels Google-busting bribery

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. co-founder and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban's idea is simplicity itself: Just …


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  1. Adam Williamson 1


    Hate to point out the obvious, but there would surely be at least _one_ bright spark at each of the top 1,000 companies who'd think of taking Microhoo's $1m offer to Google, to see what they might be prepared to pony up by way of a counter-offer.

    At which point, things would begin to get extremely expensive for both Google and Microhoo, they'd each land half of the companies for a hell of a lot more than $1m each, and we'd end up with a Balkanized nightmare of a search world where the meta-search engines would come back or you'd have to run every search through three engines to get all the results you want. Or go to one of the somewhat dodgier search engines which would be bound to pop up in such a world, which wouldn't offer anyone the opportunity of delisting.

    Gee, thanks for the awesome future vision, Mark!

    I'm no fan of Google, but the above don't sound much like an improvement.

  2. Duncan Hothersall

    Quite brilliant

    Except for the teensy problem that of course Google *would* still deliver valid search results for those searches, it just wouldn't deliver the ones who have spent all that time and money making themselves top listing.

    A radical thought, but if MicroHoo want to beat Google in the search game, they should probably focus on delivering a better product than Google.

  3. g e

    1 million?

    Wouldn't the adwords revenue generated possibly be worth more over a year to the top1000 sites?

    People wouldn't notice them not being in the results immediately until MS started saying 'can't find amazon? that's cos they're on bing' which then attracts attention to them paying them 1M to dump google.

    I think Google would get their Office replacement done in half the time and thrash MS with it if they thought that was going to happen. Would it even be legal? Oh it's America, course it would be...

  4. voice of sanity

    What are the costs of not delivering?

    Leaving aside any legal issues, surely there are major financial risks with Cuban's scheme. The downside costs would likely dwarf the sums he has calculated.

    For example, he mentions "...a commitment ... to drive traffic through their search engines to more than make up for the lost Google Traffic." Suppose that commitment turned out to be impossible to deliver: not only would it have a direct financial cost (broken contracts), it would also damage the reputation (and brand value) of the companies that made the failed commitment.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    How much

    How much would I have to pay to get experts-exchange removed from all searches, for ever?

  6. EddieD

    One minor problem

    "Lousy search results, Cuban theorizes, would doom Google"


    Since Google appear to have stopped prioritising results which contain all search terms, unless you spend time appending + and using quotes it returns lousy search results - but this seems to have not dented its popularity.

  7. Ralph B

    Wikipedia Bidding War?

    So, a lucrative potential business model for Wikipedia. Take MS's million dollars for just adding a googlebot exclude to their robots.txt file.

    What would google do then? No longer honor the robots.txt? Make their own mirror of Wikipedia? (Would that be legal?)

    Interesting times ahead.

  8. Owen Carter
    Thumb Up

    This might improve Google..

    Basically, I rarely find what I want in the first five results anyway, after I've skipped past the pastebins, expertsexchange (amazing how they -always- have exactly the answer I want behind their paywall) and all the other SEO'd to hell wannabies and assorted loosers.

    If Microsoft want to pay to take all this crap out of googles listings I'll be well happy.

  9. Guy Dawson

    Being paid to look like you've gone bust

    So, I can take my million, change my robots.txt file and wonder why 80% the the web's searchers think I've gone bust. Great!

    Then, when that 80% realise that I've not gone bust they can get p'd off because they have to use a different search engine to find me. Will they bother?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Le sigh

    The bellend suggesting this reminds me of the stereotypical pointyhair who starts any ill-considered outburst with "can't you just.." before spewing half-baked oversimplifications and solipsism.

    First up, bidding wars for who has companies appearing on their search engines is completely orthogonal to the problem- companies want to appear on all the search engines, and get as much exposure as possible (well, the ones that *get it* and aren't helmed by confused elderly despots rapidly losing the plot).

    Fragmenting search results through some bidding war apparently funded by what can only be described as the "money shitting horse" business model is the exact opposite of what drives sales via a lot of visitors to popular websites. It's beyond stupid.

    Oh, and on a partially unrelated point, however evil and all-encompassing google may be, I am just plain sick of "bing". Just die already- with your forced corporate attempt to be quirky. It's as unsettling as Steve Ballmer in a PVC catsuit.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Just a thought.....

    If (for arguments sake) amazon decided to take the $1m (unlikely given its such a piss in the ocean to them) so all their books, electronics etc disappear from google. Well, /, waterstones, etc etc are going to love the increase in sales from It falls down because of the same way microsoft office dominates. Once simple word HABBIT. Google is set as my homepage. I like google, I know how to use google. I'm not going to move to bing! because they lets me search amazon. Amazon stand to loose because I may discover another book/cd company with better delivery/charges/costs.

    Just my 2p.

    Nice try, but go and do something useful with your $1billion. Oh, I don't know, help some 3rd world country, try and cure a disease.......etc etc

  12. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Why don't they

    Not to be too vulgar, I hope, but I find it heartening in a way that important competitors to Microsoft aren't simply assassinated. You assume it wouldn't cost anything like $1bn to have Google or Opera machine-gunned or truck-bombed, although I think Google at least has some tough on-site defensive design now.

  13. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    Only a million?

    Being the top ranked website on Google for one of the most popular keywords is worth a hell of a lot more than a million bucks.

    Sure, you could buy companies out, but only the ones who aren't getting value for money out of Google - and, logically, those aren't the ones people are trying to find. Nothing of value would be lost.

  14. druck Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Luck number 6

    If this nonsense ever happened I'd be off to invest in the number 6 companies of those top 25 searches. I'm pretty sure people aren't going to run off to the nasty yahoo portal or poor bling clone of google, before those companies get a huge increase in revenues.

  15. The Commenter formally known as Matt


    Want the results from expertsexchange? Just scroll to the bottom of the page (thats right underneath the pay to signup advert) Voila

  16. Ben 72


    Ok this is the biggest load of.....

    Top 1000 websites, by which search term?

    $1m for the top 1000 will not make up for loss of business for most.... UK search 85% google

    Trust.... you really trust a company that has been paid not to be in 'certain' search engine?

    If you still want to use the websites that are no longer listed in your home pages search engine (in my case google) - what you YOU do.... go and find another search engine OR bookmark? The choice is simple.

    I'm ashamed i'm even getting involved in this discussion, its a load of B*ll*cks.

  17. SilverWave
    Paris Hilton

    Not on Google == Not on the Web. D'oh!

    I have set as a home page... Because its useful, stupid.

    I have the "New Tab Home Page" extension installed because my work flow with any new tab is 95% "search for something in Google".

    For any site who took this money it would be Suicide by Bing.

    There is a reason that these sites _pay_ for SEO (search engine optimization) on Google, this idea is the Anti-SEO.

  18. Parker

    The Big Picture + Two sides to consider


    Just for a second lets forget about money. The issue we are talking about here is the flow of free information. This is something that we must all protect with everything we have as a lot of people died in defense of this privilage.

    What we should be doing here is making a database of all known data known to man at this point in time that we all have access to. These search engines are the closest thing we have at the moment. If one company can do that better than the others and adhere to our protective regulations then fine.

    I agree with a previous post that the action should not be to downgrade Google by getting people to leave or take them off all listings for the sake of competition. If you're going to do it anyway, just give them the million to Upgrade their sites, so as to make all of them a more quality service. This way the public only get the absolute of quality and the 'fair competition' aspect of this rediculous and failing Monetary system we're forced to live out until it fails will be sustained. (Zeitgeist Movement - The Venus Project)

    Infact, this Mark Cuban chap seems to have his heart in the right place, why don't you make you're own website with an all access, non-censored free flow of information that is not based on a profit incentive.

    This way we will all access to a non-corruptable, non-censored information

    Fact is, we need to have all, uncensored information at our disposal This always has been and always will be the saviour of the people in the years to come.

    Protect the internet people!

  19. Anonymous Coward


    Not sure whose Kool Aid you've been drinking, but your spelling seems to be as flawed as your logic and grasp of history. There are no huge legions of Internet Martyrs(tm).


  20. SilverWave

    Suicide by Bing.

    Yes I have posted a longer comment but on reviewing "Suicide by Bing" says it all.

  21. gollux

    Sounds like one of those easy answers...

    That when implemented has hilarious results. Sounds like another Wall Street Wealth Redistribution scheme. Let us know when you have succeeded, negative results count...

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Top 1000 is meaningless

    It would be fun to see how you come up with your top 1000. Nearly every single one of them is a household name that almost nobody needs google, yahoo!, bing, or bingcrohoosoft to find.

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