Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yahoo! Doesn't Think They Can Beat Google?

A new interview by Yahoo's CFO reports that those planning Yahoo!'s stragegic direction don't think it's viable to beat Google in the search market.

"We don't think it's reasonable to assume we're going to gain a lot of share from Google," Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker said in an interview. "It's not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share."

Now I must interject that I think Yahoo! is a much superior search engine than Google, especially after the last 3 - 4 Google updates have continued to kick legitamite sites out of rankings. Yahoo!'s search is quality, and with their myriad of other services, I think they easily beat Google when you look at their company's side by side.

I don't know why their CFO should feel the need to come out and say things like this. Terry Semel should have stopped this interview from being published. Does the CFO really understand the search market when they're dealing with financial outlooks and figures?

For them to give up their quest for search dominance, means that they are cowed by Google's purported superiority, which I don't think is the case at all.

Yahoo! beats Google in many ways, even in the search market. Their publisher network offers telephone support, and offers higher revenue sharing than Google. Ever since Google lowered their CPC threshold to just 1 cent, AdSense partners are probably getting 1/3 of a penny per click on the lowest end, while Yahoo's lower end threshold is still 10 cents, meaning publishers get more money per click on Yahoo!.

I have never been able to get someone on the phone at Google. With Yahoo!, it takes less than a minute to have a real IT person talking on the phone with me. Yahoo! is so accessible and willing to help.

Yahoo! also holds integral patents for search engines and search queries, especially after having acquired Alta Vista who were the real pioneers in search engines. They also have Overture's SEM patents. Google has nothing like Yahoo!'s patent portfolio.

I don't think they should sell themselves short. Yahoo! may be a little behind in the actual SERPs, but I do believe their satellite services more than beat Google's lackluster service record.

The future is theirs for the taking. Yahoo is a company that stands up for its people. Google will become increasingly hard to deal with in the coming years. Hell, it's impossible to deal with them already.

In the end I must say that Google is for sheep, Yahoo! is for real people.

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