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A search engine research project set up to be the European equivalent of Google will swallow £75 million of European taxpayers’ cash and vanish.

That’s the prediction of internet marketing expert Mark Furber, the MD of £3m turnover UK strategic online marketing company NetCallidus.

He believes a five year development plan for new search project QUAERO is ridiculous – as internet technology will have significantly changed by 2013.

Mark said: “Look back five years at the way the internet was in 2003, and how the technology has evolved. The pace of change is getting faster forcing internet companies to work harder to keep up.

“A publicly funded project like this has no chance of overtaking Google, even if that money was spent on development over one year, not five.

“The only way to create a viable European rival to Google is to use the money to fund research at one of its existing major rivals, such as Yahoo!.”

QUAERO was awarded £75m by the French government to work on its multimedia search technology.

The project is made up of 23 companies working together.

The founders have recently declared that QUAERO isn’t a search engine; rather a research co-operative looking into search technology other companies will be able to use.

Mark added: “Even if that is true, it doesn’t matter. This project has no chance of producing anything useful for European businesses, and is a total waste of money.”

Figures show that all Google sites have a total of 56.5% market share for worldwide internet search.

Its closest rival is Yahoo! with just 23.3%.

NetCallidus is a strategic search engine marketing company, employing 26 people at Sywell Aerodrome in Northamptonshire.

Its current clients include Dunelm Mill and York Fitness.



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