So What Are We To Make Of The “Ying” Search Delay?

I got two calls yesterday from people asking what I made of the Yahoo-Microsoft failure to meet their self-imposed search-deal deadline (October 27). I said it was probably just a case of needing more time to work through some of the details rather than a warning sign that the entire deal was in jeopardy. There's much at stake for both companies (somewhat less for Bing) in having committed to this deal. The market would punish both if the deal were to fall apart. It would be very hard for Yahoo to recover in the short term, having lost some of its best search people (many of whom are now wo [...]

Carl Icahn “Activist Investor” Departs Yahoo Board

When "activist investor" Carl Icahn forced his way onto Yahoo's board in the middle of last year the company was resisting a takeover attempt from Microsoft. Icahn wanted to see a deal and was trying with all his might to broker one between the two companies. He initiated a very public bid to oust Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang as CEO and bring a slate of Microsoft-friendly candidates to the Yahoo board. He went so far as to file a shareholder lawsuit against Yahoo. The settlement gave Icahn a seat on the Yahoo board and control of three of 11 total board positions. After Jerry Yang resigne [...]

Yahoo Down YoY, Flat From Q2, Search Ad Revs Down 19 Percent

Yahoo just announced quarterly revenues of $1.575 million, which represents a 12 percent decline from the third quarter of 2008 and is basically flat vs last quarter. However the company saw a 19 percent decline in search ad revenue YoY but flat sequentially. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz characterized Q3 as "solid" in the press release and said that the business had "stabilized." Here are the top-level financials: Other revenue information from the release: Marketing services revenues were flat and fees revenues increased 2 percent,compared to the second quarter of 2009. Marketing se [...]

What Do Y!ou Think Of Yahoo’s New Branding Campaign?

I wasn't in the room but I watched a webcast of Yahoo CMO Elisa Steele's keynote at the IAB Mixx conference this morning from New York. She introduced the new Yahoo Search but spent more time on the new $100 million (or so) ad campaign: "It's Y!ou." Danny live blogged the It's Y!ou talk by Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, which also addressed a wide range of other issues. On the whole I'd have to say the earlier Steele speech was unimpressive and too familiar sounding. Maybe it's because they've been previewing the messaging informally for some time. And maybe because the themes and creative of the n [...]

Yahoo’s New Ad Campaign: It’s You!

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the new consumer-facing Yahoo branding campaign is starting to appear in New York, with a personalization theme: It's You!. According to the article: Yahoo is planning to reintroduce its battered brand to the public Tuesday with a massive global marketing campaign, according to people familiar with the effort. The Internet company’s new tagline, according to one of those people: "It’s You!" The Y in the "You" is the Y from "Yahoo," and the famous Yahoo exclamation point will pop up too, this person said . . . The global campaign is focused o [...]

Yahoo’s New Advertiser Campaign: Bigger Is Better

With a penis joke, AllThingsD previews a major new ad offensive from Yahoo, which will have distinct but related messages for advertisers and consumers. On the advertiser side of the campaign, Yahoo will reportedly stress its reach and scale in an IAB event keynote next week, coinciding with Advertising Week in New York: The main message Bartz is set to deliver is that Yahoo is a powerhouse unlike any others on the Web when it comes to online display advertising. Of course "reach" is all about audience which directly correlates with consumer usage. The Yahoo message for consumers will report [...]

Yahoo Board Member Icahn Trims Stake, Bartz Wants Wants To Stop “Navel Gazing”

Investor and Yahoo board member Carl Icahn has reportedly reduced his holdings in Yahoo by roughly 12 million shares, according to a recent regulatory filing with the US SEC. Icahn became a board member last year after a prolonged and very public episode that involved heavy criticism of then Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang and an attempt to oust the existing Yahoo board, including Yang, for blocking Microsoft's earlier takeover attempt. As a board member he obviously supported the new MicroHoo search deal, which has so far turned out to be a disappointment to most investors. It also appears to have c [...]

WSJ: Yahoo Getting Unfair Shake In Wake Of Search Deal

An opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal this morning makes the case that investors have overly punished Yahoo for its "no-cash-upfront" search deal with Microsoft. The piece cites continued growth in Yahoo uniques and page views and the myriad Yahoo properties that are at the top of their respective categories: Despite all the turmoil at the company, the number of unique monthly visitors to Yahoo sites continues to grow. It rose 10% in the year to June to 154 million, according to comScore, 79.5% of the total U.S. Internet audience and only a little below Google in terms of reach. Micros [...]

Revisionist History: Bartz Claims Yahoo Was Never A Search Engine

The New York Times has an interview out with Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz where she declares that Yahoo has "never been a search company." Astounding, in that that this is not true. Part of me thinks, "Why bother arguing?" As my A Search Eulogy For Yahoo post from last week explains, whatever Yahoo was, if the Yahoo-Microsoft search deal with goes through, Yahoo's done as a search engine. Heck, Bartz had effectively taken it out of the search game weeks before the deal was announced by backing away from search as a feature. Even if the deal should fail -- Yahoo is still finished as a search pla [...]

Yahoo Buys Xoopit To Advance “Smarter Inbox” Strategy

The web's first (and some might still argue only) "killer app," email, was invented roughly 35 years ago. And everyone seems to have ideas on how to bring it into the 21st Century. Google Wave is aiming to be an email replacement of sorts: a real-time, social communication and collaboration platform. Yahoo, for its part, is pursuing a "smarter inbox" strategy, which has a social media dimension. As part of executing on that strategy it has acquired Xoopit, which developed photo-sharing for Yahoo Mail and GMail (although that will likely come to an end). The estimated value of the deal was [...]

Is Yahoo Trying To Sell Small Biz & HotJobs?

Yesterday on the Yahoo Q2 earnings call, CEO Carol Bartz spent time talking about local and small business (SMB) advertising. She said that these overlapping segments were increasingly important to Yahoo and she announced a new deal with AT&T (to sell display ads on Yahoo to SMBs). She added that between AT&T's yellow pages sales force and the company's newspaper consortium partners Yahoo effectively had "13,000 sales reps" in local markets around the US. Here's the relevant verbatim Bartz quote from the earnings call transcript: We also know that local relevance of both content an [...]

Yahoo’s New Homepage Gets Personal, Tests Search Filters

When I heard about the call with Yahoo yesterday, which was to feature "a significant announcement," I thought: "Bing, here it is." When it turned out the call was about a formal announcement of the new Yahoo homepage I was disappointed; it seemed anti-climactic. The existence of a forthcoming Yahoo homepage redesign has been known for months and screenshots of earlier versions have been seen previously in several places online. However, the new Yahoo homepage, which launches around 4:30 Eastern today, turns out to be both interesting and practical. The embargo was broken yesterday so immed [...]

Happy Father’s Day From Google & Others

We wanted to wish all the fathers out there a happy Father's Day from all of us at Search Engine Land. To celebrate, below is a collection of some of the logos from Google and the rest of the industry. Happy Father's Day! Google: Yahoo: AOL: DogPile: Bing: Cre8asite Forums: Search Engine Roundtable: [...]

State Of Search: Google Will Stay Strong Despite Bing & Yahoo

Just because a product -- toothpaste, laundry detergent, whatever -- calls itself "new and improved" does not mean consumers will abandon a brand that they already use and like. Microsoft's new search engine Bing faces this same challenge in taking on Google. Google's not broken; people like it, and there's no compelling reason for them to switch to Bing, much less the more established Yahoo. Consider this a "state of the major search engines" from my perspective -- how they're likely to fare against each other in light of Microsoft's latest salvo in the search wars and Yahoo's weake [...]

Google’s Yellow Memorial Day Ribbon & Logos From Other Search Engines

Today is Memorial Day, so please expect lighter then normal coverage here. I have [...]

Happy Mother’s Day Logos From Google & Other Search Engines

The Search Engine Land team would like to wish you a Happy Mother's Day today. As tradition, I like to post the various logos from the search industry, to help celebrate the day. Here are the Mother's Day logos. Google: Yahoo (animated): AOL (animated): Google Maps changed the Street Views guy to a mom and son: Search Engine Roundtable: [...]

Earth Day Logos From Google, Yahoo & Others

Happy Earth Day everyone! Like last year we wanted to post a collection of the logos created by the search engines for today. Here they are: For the animated versions of Yahoo and AOL's logo, see my post at the Search Engine Roundtable and for past years, see 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 and 2004. [...]

Yahoo Q1 Revenues Down, Bartz Says “Search Critical To Yahoo’s Business”

As expected, Yahoo earnings were down, about 13 percent YoY. According to the earnings press release: Yahoo! Inc. today reported revenues of $1,580 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2009, a decrease of 13 percent from the first quarter of 2008.  Excluding the impact of currency rate fluctuations, revenues for the first quarter of 2009 would have declined 8 percent from the first quarter of 2008.  The Company’s non-GAAP operating cash flow for the first quarter of 2009 of $409 million exceeded the midpoint of the outlook range provided by the Company last quarter. Query volume was [...]

Yahoo Going Back To The Future Under Bartz

Yahoo watchers have heard this before: The company is planning to "create community from isolated sites," according to the headline of a Reuters feature Tuesday that includes comments from co-founder David Filo and VP of Social Platforms Neal Sample. It's the idea of "social search" -- creating value in the connections between users and relying on their likes and dislikes to add value to online search. It's not a concept that Yahoo created, but certainly one that they rallied around years ago as a way to beat Google. Now it might be Yahoo's best hope for regaining some of the value that's b [...]

Yahoo Not Focused On MSFT Sale, Rather On Mobile & 141 Home Page Variations

Three intertwined stories appeared today about Yahoo. The first from Dow Jones Newswires picks up on a Thomas Weisel report about the company, following a meeting between analysts and CEO Carol Bartz. Ironically the report (as described) is highly positive but it sent shares down because it suggests that a Microsoft-Yahoo deal is not going to happen: "We believe she is focused on building Yahoo for the long term and is narrowing her sights on improving the product before anything else," the analysts said, adding they were bullish on her goals. "A mantra that has been missing at Yahoo for far [...]

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