• http://www.sweetspotmarketing.com kevinpike

    With that much spin I gotta wonder if she is trying to get a job at FOX News.

  • http://www.brickmarketing.com nickstamoulis

    I agree with you Danny, I can’t believe the party line at Yahoo! now is that they were never a search engine…they absolutely were and still are…personally I think this whole deal is going to hurt the Yahoo! and Bing brands and only make Google users even more loyal.

  • http://www.JiansNet.com briteguy

    Being a search engine technologist, I have to say it is too bad that Yahoo gave up.

    They have acquired lot of search engine companies, inktomi, altavista, you name it. All the good engineers too. For once I heard Doug Cutting who invented Lucene java open source search engine work for Yahoo maybe.

    Although being an open source developer I don’t like Microsoft, but, I admire their approach to search, just keep doing it, it is the way to go.

    Yahoo is a coward I have to say. They will never make a great business this way.

  • Andrew Goodman

    Danny, that is some sharp thinking.

    It’s kind of stunning to be reminded that Yahoo really felt that old Directory was so “primary”. But that’s from today’s mindset which has all but closed the door on that particular model. Most industry people today see directories as quaint. Or they don’t see them at all, other than as providing link juice for crawler based rank.

    Would like to take a quantitative stab at “primary,” though. You say all the Altavista and Open Text and Inktomi results back in the 1990’s were “backup” listings. I wonder what clickstreams would have told us? What percentage of clicks exited through the “primary” (Yahoo) listings, and what percentage through the “backup” (crawler, outsourced) listings?

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Andrew, for some reason I remember it being like 1/3 primary and 2/3 on the backup. Or the opposite! Or not at all! It was long ago, and I’m not sure the stats ever got out there.

    I think regardless of the clicks, the primary remain most important. The popular searches that everyone does, you get a bad match on those, I think you go away with a really bad impression of the search engine.

  • http://webguru-co.com mergen

    Yahoo.com is the #1 website in Mongolia. Yet, they still do nothing with it to make money. Everybody and their mothers in Mongolia use Yahoo messenger. In the last two years that I have lived here, I have not seen one single attempt by Yahoo to monetize in this market. The top Mongolian websites are making hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual revenue.

    If Yahoo came to Mongolia officially, they could make millions with their market reach!!! I know the last CEO did nothing. I am kind of still holding out to see if Bartz makes a move. Otherwise, she should just give the full branding usage rights here in Mongolia and make way.

  • ChiefAlchemist

    Danny… Danny… Danny… :)

    Read again: “CEO Carol Bartz where she declares that Yahoo has “never been a search company.” No one said Yahoo never did search. What Bartz said was Yahoo wasn’t a search company. In other words, Yahoo was – and continues to be – more than that. Just like Toyota isn’t a tire company, even though they sell millions of tires. Get it?

    I’d like to add that Google isn’t a search company either. Google is an advertising platform. .It just so happens that search is the means to the advertising ends. If you don’t believe me then check out Google’s results… Nearly all their revenue comes from… drum roll please… Advertising. Don’t believe me, ask any newspaper what biz Google is in. NO ONE fears the Google search engine, they fear the Google advertising platform machine.

    So then… I’m not splitting hairs.To evaluate and predict where any of these outfits are headed there needs to be clear understanding what lines of business they are in.

    Pardon me for being a new comer and using such a critical thinking approach but I couldn’t be silent on this one. I honestly expected better based on what I’ve heard about SEL.

  • http://www.acquisio.com poiriem

    ChiefAlchemist – I assure you, Yahoo was nothing but a search engine in the late 90s.

  • ChiefAlchemist

    LOL. Ya all aren’t seriously devoting this much bandwidth to what in internet years might was well be a couple lifetimes ago?

    I’m talking about today and tomorrow and you’re worried about 1998.

    How do I go about getting my accnt deleted? This is far too small minded for me, sorry.

  • http://Propsblog.com Leah Waddill

    Seriously? They even TRIED to claim that? That is one of the only things I even recognize yahoo as. It is amazing that with their history it serach engines that they would try make deceptive claims like that. LOL.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    ChiefAlchemist, for Yahoo to “do search” meant they were indeed a search company — and not just one in 1998 but right now in 2009.

    There are only a handful of companies with the technology to crawl the entire web and provide quality rankings in response to heavy user demand: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Ask in out of the US; Baidu in China (for China, and not global).

    To have that technology, Yahoo is a search company. Morever, they’ve heavily integrated search into many of their other products over the years. Trust me (or don’t, I guess), but I’ve been in briefings with Yahoo many times over the past few years. Recent history — and there was no suggestion they weren’t a search company.

    Yes, they do more than search. So does Google. So does Microsoft. So what? So what then prompts Bartz to say what she did. Answer is simple. She has investors wondering why Yahoo appears to be giving away its search technology for nothing to Microsoft. Saying they were “never a search company” is an attempt to make it seem like Yahoo wasn’t giving up anything as part of this — as if hundreds of million dollars of investment in search over the years, as well as incredible knowledge of search, simply never existed.

    I don’t disagree with the issue about ads. If I’m asked what Google is, more than anything else, I call it a media company. Not a tech company. It uses tech as a clever way to sell ads. I’ve written about this many times in the past. It still irks me that it gets called a tech company.

    But still, it’s also a search company. Whatever either of us want to call it as a umbrella description, within Google is a major emphasis on search. Search is a product it produces. It is a search company as well as other things. And so is Yahoo, though not for much longer.

  • http://www.marketing-jive.com J Nimetz

    Well said Danny. Fantastic post. The whole Yahoo \slide\ has been interesting to watch over the past 12-18 months. I applauded Jerry Yang’s attempt to rekindle the fire, but alas the investors needed to be appeased.

    No doubt that Yahoo was a Search company, but as you pointed out, they were more than a Search company. I highly doubt that the Bing/Yahoo venture will have a strong impact on breaking the Google habit, it just might, as nickstamoulis stated make people feel an even stronger affinity for Google.