And The Winner Is: Search’s Rich List + Most Valuable “Startups”

People love lists. Publishers love lists too because they sell copies of traditional print newspapers and magazines and, online, they generate lots of clicks and page views. For example, the HuffingtonPost has become a veritable archive of slideshows: “the 10 best places to live,” the “hottest beach bods of the summer” and so on. US News sells lots copies of its infamous “Best Colleges & Universities” issue. The more venerable but no less cynical Forbes’ “Richest People in America” is in the same vein.

So without further ado . . . the envelope please (thanks Gary Price). Here are the Richest Men — yes all men — in search, a modified and slightly snarky version of the Forbes list:

  • #1 Bill Gates: $54 billion (still sort of qualifies because of Microsoft connection)
  • #11 & #12: Larry & Sergey: $15 billion (no last names required)
  • #16: Steve Ballmer: $13.1 billion
  • #24: Carl Icahn: $11 billion (included here for his time on Yahoo’s board as pro-Microsoft gadfly)
  • #35: Mark Zuckerberg: $7 billion (not a search engine, but Facebook’s got search — Olé!)
  • #42: Steve “people aren’t using search” Jobs: $6.1 (hey, apps are search-like)
  • #48: Eric Schmidt: $5.45 billion (runs one of those search engines if I remember correctly)
  • #144: Mark Cuban: $2.5 billion (he blogs about search sometimes — and has lots of opinions about Google)
  • #221: Mark Menioff: $1.8 billion (because lots of people are searching for enterprise software alternatives)
  • #266: John Doerr: $1.55 billion (he got rich off his Google investment)

Moving on now to Silicon Alley Insider and its “Digital 100” list of the most “valuable” startups, based on valuations. Here are the top 30:

  1. Facebook
  2. Zynga
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Skype
  5. Craigslist
  6. Twitter
  7. Vente-Privee
  8. Yandex
  9. Betfair
  10. LinkedIn
  11. Groupon
  12. Taobao
  13. Mozilla Corp
  14. HomeAway
  15. Tudou
  16. GoDaddy
  17. Hulu
  18. AdKnowledge
  19. The Ladders
  20. eHarmony
  21. Gilt Groupe
  22. Demand Media
  23. Palantir Tech
  25. livingsocial
  26. Yelp
  27. Youku
  28. Active Network
  29. pandora
  30. MediaBank

Many of the sites on the list above have search as a prominent component of the user experience, but it’s interesting that there aren’t really any “search engines” on the list, unless you count Yelp. Further down there are a number of vertical search sites: Kayak, Oodle, Zillow, AngiesList.

Related Topics: Channel: Strategy | Stats: General | Stats: Size


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • http://www.Match.ccom simons1321

    how is Mark Cuban on there and Barry Diller not? He’s #332.

  • http://www.Match.ccom simons1321

    Oh and it looks like the SAI top Digital 100 only includes pre-IPO companies. Explains why there isn’t any Search Engines on there.

  • T Campbell

    What makes a startup a startup?

    Why does Skype make the list, having been acquired and sold back into independence, or Facebook, which is easily one of the top five Web brands? Granted these companies have yet to pass certain traditional milestones, but they feel as if they’ve made it.

    It seems like we’re abusing the term to me, what does everyone else think?

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