Search engine futures!

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Cross posted from Oddhead Blog.

I am happy to report that on my suggestion intrade has listed futures contracts for 2008 search engine market share.

Here is how they work:

A contract will expire according to the percentage share of internet searches conducted in the United States in 2008. For example, if 53.5% of searches conducted in the United States in 2008 are made using Google then the contract listed for Google will expire at 53.5&#8230-

&#8230-Expiry will be based on the United States search share rankings published by Nielson Online.

I think this could be a fascinating market because:

  • Search engine market share is very important to these major companies, with dramatic effects on their share prices.
  • Search engine market share is fluid, so far with Google growing inexorably. However, Microsoft has cash, determination, Internet Explorer, and the willingness to experiment. has erasers, 3D, ad budgets, and The Algorithm. Yahoo!, second in market share, often tests equal or better than Google, and new features like Search Assist are impressive.
  • The media loves to write about it.
  • A major search company might use the market to hedge. Well, this seems far-fetched but you never know. Certainly, from an economic risk management standpoint it would seem to make a great deal of sense. (Here, as always on this blog, I speak on behalf of myself and not my company.)

Finally, I have to comment on how refreshingly easy the process was in working with intrade. They went from suggestion to implementation in a matter of days. It&#8217-s a shame that US-based companies are in contrast stuck in stultifying legal and regulatory mud.

Work for free for InTrade -and become famous (a little bit).

InTrade embraces &#8216-crowd sourcing&#8217-:

Intrade is looking for New Market Ideas!

Friday, Jan 25, 2008

What uncertain event are you interested in trading? What uncertain event are you interested in getting predictive information on from the Intrade community? Please let us know by mailing [email protected].

By suggesting a new market* and agreeing to be cited you will be joining an impressive list of luminaries from Academia, Business, and Government.

Here is just a small sample of those who have previously suggested markets that Intrade has listed?

  • Robin Hanson (Prof.)
  • International Strategy &amp- Investment Group
  • Peter McCluskey
  • David Pennock (Dr.)
  • Mark Perry (Prof.)
  • Koleman Strumpf (Prof.)
  • Justin Wolfers (Prof.)
  • Eric Zitzewitz (Prof.)

Before we list any new market we [endeavor] to ensure the following:

  1. The market will be easily understood and capable of definitive settlement.
  2. Market is based on an event that is of significant economic, social, or public interest.
  3. Typically be defined as a yes or no (0-100) proposition.

Ensuring your suggestion complies with the above criteria [maximizes] the chance we will list your suggestion for free. In other circumstances we may still list your suggestion for a fee.

*A market that we list and had not previously listed or considered.

They should look in the direction of PopSci PPX for new ideas. [And they should look for a Merriam-Webster dictionary to write the North-American English correctly. I have corrected them two times.]

Yahoo! Research scientist David Pennock&#8217-s prediction market proposals for InTrade are great.

And what about a prediction market on whether North Korea will soon launch an intercontinental missile? :-D


NEXT: I recommend that you read the comments on David Pennock&#8217-s post.

Read the previous blog posts by Chris. F. Masse:

  • Why you should launch your brand-new prediction exchange at a conference
  • Why Indian Software Outsourcing Companies are Outsourcing to China
  • Midas Oracle is the only popular, independent, exhaustive, multi-author, multi-exchange, Web-based resource on prediction markets.
  • Here’s an example of the total crap that the BetFair blog is publishing.
  • P(election) = P(nomination) * P(election conditional on nomination)
  • Journalism Failures — Big Time
  • South Carolina showdown: Barack Obama vs. Hillary Clinton