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Google adds paid SMB search to portfolio

To borrow from Ronald Reagan’s lexicon, there Google goes again.

Amping up its business push, the Web search giant on Tuesday unveiled a hosted search service tailored for SMBs.

Money text from the release: “Custom Search Business Edition starts at $100 a year for searching up to 5,000 pages, and extends to $500/year for up to 50,000 pages. Larger volumes of pages are supported through Google’s enterprise sales group.”

Nowhere is there mention of how anyone other than Google can make money off this offering, although Google in the past few years did garner some Microsoft SharePoint partners for its “for pay” search appliance effort.

Last week, Microsoft execs told attendees of the company’s annual Worldwide Partner Conference that solution providers, ISVs etc. should look hard at Google’s model before jumping aboard.

Said Microsoft COO Kevin Turner:

“The question I would have for all of you is you should look at the ecosystem that Google has for partners. And if there’s not a monetization model there for you, then you should deduct, perhaps they could be a competitor, and join the fight.”

Long-time Microsoft partners might sum it up this way: Microsoft margins may be tight, but at least they exist and even many service-oriented partners still want/need margin on software sales to cover costs. In a nutshell then: Slim margins are better than none.

For more on the Google SMB offering from Google’s own Nick Mangtani at click here.

What are your thoughts on Google’s channel plan? Or is that an oxymoron?

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