Search Biz: Google Stock Hits New Low; News Corp Says No On Yahoo

Today in Search Biz: News Corp isn’t throwing Yahoo a life preserver to fend off Microsoft. Ask loses a (small) paid search partner and gets competition for those women it now says it’s not really that focused on (sort of). Google’s stock hits a new low, but will it plunge below $400? Facebook founder Mark […]

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Today in Search
: News Corp isn’t throwing Yahoo a life preserver to fend off Microsoft.
Ask loses a (small) paid search partner and gets competition for those women it
now says it’s not really that focused on (sort of). Google’s stock hits a new
low, but will it plunge below $400? Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says maybe
Facebook was "ahead of itself" in calling its ads so revolutionary — but you
might have missed that in the hoo-ha over the interviewer’s style at SXSW. And
no, Digg’s not selling itself to Google or Microsoft.

Let’s lead off with
News Corp will not fight Microsoft for Yahoo| Deals| Mergers
from Reuters
has News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch seeming to put a final nail in the coffin of any
speculation that News Corp might do something — anything! — to help Yahoo’s
fight to stay independent of Microsoft. Said Murdoch:

"We’re not going to get into a fight with Microsoft, which has a lot more
money than us," Murdoch told investors at the annual Bear Stearns media

Seems kind of old news.
Way back when the
news first came out, News Corp was counted out of helping Yahoo. However, there
had been increased
of some type of deal involving News Corp-owned, Google
ad-powered MySpace.

From the Financial Times,

Microsoft wary on Yahoo integration
quotes Microsoft chief software
architect Ray Ozzie as saying Microsoft will take its time before killing off
all of Yahoo’s technology, if it gets to buy the Big Y. Heh. No, he said there
would be no rush until the technologies on both sides were fully assessed:

“Technology companies, if they dive in and just smash things together for
smashing them together’s sake, it’s reckless, it’s just simply reckless,” said
Ray Ozzie, who took on the company’s top software technology role from Bill
Gates in 2006.

Again, kind of old news. I mean, Microsoft
said the day of its
announcement that it was making no decisions over which products, services, or
technologies would "win" in a merger. I guess the new thing is spelling out that
it will take its time to do this, even in a heated competitive race against

Over at, things are looking kind of gloomy. News that Ask was bailing
on targeting all types of searchers with its search engine in favor of married
women didn’t exactly go
over that well
with the supposed westcoasteliterati. Whoops! After wiping
off a couple billion from being the potential number three search engine in a
Google-Microsoft world, Ask

started backtracking
(yes, Rafat — I agree,
it did feel like
backtracking when it wasn’t just AP that came away with this view).

Next, Microsoft
Ask’s "little engine that could" line (telling Microsoft’s Steve
Ballmer to give it back or they’d throw a chair didn’t seem to work). Then

Yahoo’s New Appeal to Women
from BusinessWeek covers how Yahoo’s going to
get in on the women’s site game that Ask said would be their key distinguishing
feature, that is when they weren’t denying that they were about to become a
woman’s site. Could it get any worse?

Well, how about being dumped by a search engine with even less traffic (much,
much less) than Ask itself? Hakia
it was breaking up with Ask as an ad partner, promising its own
in-house solution to come. To top it off, the fight to control parent
IAC begins this week and is expected to be resolved quickly.

Barry Diller To IAC Troops On Eve Of Court Fight With Liberty Media
from has a memo from IAC head Barry Diller telling the troops to try
and ignore press coverage of who is winning and losing, though he admits: "I will
try as well but probably fail." That’s fail to ignore the news, not probably
fail to win the case! Liberty’s Malone:

Diller ran IAC as if he owned it
from Reuters covers the first testimony in
the case today.

How about things with the Big G?

Google shares could fall another 20 percent
from Reuters and
Google Below
$350??? Easy
from Silicon Alley Insider aren’t exactly cheery news to be
hearing. And with the stock at around $420 right now — the

lowest point
in about 18 months — will it be a self-fulfilling prophecy?

If the stock price isn’t secure, at least you know your data is.

How Google keeps your information secure
from the Official Google Blog is a
quick heads-up on ways Google says it keeps data safe. Of course, the last time
Google did a post like this, the Official Google Blog got hacked. OK,
what happened was
that Google deleted its own blog by mistake, which allowed someone to take
control of its name. Other Google blogs have had related security issues, and
Google was sending out scary SSL errors recently. See our
Google: Security
archives to links to stories about those issues and a few others.

We’ll segue from Google to Facebook via Sheryl Sandberg, the long-time Google
VP who did her own segue to Facebook
to become its new
COO last week.

(Almost) New Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Speaks!
at AllThingsD has Kara
Swisher talking to Sandberg about why she made the move.

Sandberg said she was already looking for a new challenge and when she came
back from maternity leave, found David Fischer (who now has her position at
Google) had things well in hand:

“I was not looking in a big way, but I was seeking a new challenge either
internally or externally after six years at Google building the online sales

“The team was in great shape and I felt like it was time for change for
me,” she said.

I think the key thing here is Sandberg saying she wanted a challenge
"internally or externally." Thus, there wasn’t as compelling an option at Google.
Hey, it’s hard to find something that would seem as exciting as building a
start-up many think could rival Google, if you’re an exec looking to prove
yourself out from under the Google shadow. But that also seems a problem for
Google. It long since passed being the little start-up that could — and losing
experienced vets plus attracting new talent is going to be tougher going

Meanwhile, bloggers are
still debating
whether BusinessWeek’s Sarah Lacy lost the plot when interviewing Facebook’s
Mark Zuckerberg at SXSW yesterday (personally, Lacy
lost me a bit
way back when she used Alexa data to judge Digg’s popularity and help assign a then
$60 million valuation to it in a cover
Alexa, really?).

Debate the presentation style and if the audience cared, if you want.

Facebook CEO Admits Missteps
from BusinessWeek unsurprisingly skips past
those issues. Probably most interesting? That whole idea that
Facebook’s ads
introduced late last year
were part of a
media revolution? "We probably got a little bit ahead of ourselves,"
said Zuckerberg. And maybe $15 billion is a bit high for Facebook to be valued
at, plus the company is running around break even. Read the live blogging from

By the way, how about that IPO? Not something Zuckerberg says Facebook is
focused on. But he also says they just passed the 500 employees mark, so I say
again, it’s nearing IPO time. See
Facebook To IPO In 2008
(It’ll Have To)
on how SEC rules may force this on Facebook, just like they
did on Google.

Let’s close with Digg. Rumors that Google or Microsoft want to buy them?
Not true, says Digg, officially, and “Not

AllThingsD — it’s stemming from bankers that are serving to filter
regular interest in buying the company.

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About the author

Danny Sullivan
Danny Sullivan was a journalist and analyst who covered the digital and search marketing space from 1996 through 2017. He was also a cofounder of Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and MarTech, and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo and MarTech events. He retired from journalism and Third Door Media in June 2017. You can learn more about him on his personal site & blog He can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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