The search wars continue. Google's made the latest move today, having smacked its Froogle service for online shoppers up on its home page early today. Froogle has now been promoted to the lineup of tabs that Googlers can use for more specific search.

It's almost too predictable that Froogle's gone live the first business day after Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) announced its purchase of European comparison shopping firm Kelkoo. (One might wonder how Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) investors are feeling about these recent developments -- considering Amazon's function as an online mall and discounter.)

Google's press announcement not only unveils Froogle, but also the ability to search for numeric ranges and images in its news service. In addition, Google announced new features where users can conduct searches that garner query answers based on their personal interests as well as Web alerts, which search out specified results and deliver them via email.

Though Froogle's shopping search engine is higher profile and seemingly timed to rebut Yahoo!'s announcement Friday, it's those personalized services, currently in beta, that may add even more traction when it comes to courting -- and retaining -- users in the Wild West of search.

Last week, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) admitted its missed opportunities in search, going with the it's-better-late-than-never approach as it vowed to develop similar services. It's got some plans up its sleeve as well, including the question-and-answer search format popularized by Ask Jeeves (NASDAQ:ASKJ), as well as searching blogs.

Given that, it's tempting to say that Microsoft's coming too late to the party; it feels like the "hindsight is 20/20" principle is at work. Meanwhile, it's not hard to imagine Google as out of breath right now, as it tries to keep up with Yahoo!'s continued aggressive onslaught of search-related services.

On the other hand, Yahoo!'s attempting to regain lost search turf (not to mention boost profits), and as a result, one could argue that the Google IPO sounded like a much more compelling concept several months ago. Both seem fairly well-occupied with each other. Despite Microsoft's tardy entry, maybe it's in the best position. After all, it's hardly unprecedented for the technology giant to find out what works for users, and then swoop in to trump the existing players -- both of which happen to be at each other's jugulars.

Is Google running scared? Is it going to lose advantage now that these other players are dead serious about search? Talk to Fools about the issues in search on the Yahoo! and Microsoft discussion boards.

Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. She can't help but wonder why Google's News tab wasn't named Noogle.