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Yahoo! Japan will switch to Google Search

 2:13 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

This could be some very major news if it turns out to be true.
Is Yahoo Japan poised to switch to Google Search? [news.cnet.com]

In what would be a stunning blow to the massive search alliance between Microsoft and Yahoo, Google is apparently zeroing in on a deal to grab the algorithmic search business for Yahoo Japan, said several sources.

The agreement between Yahoo Japan and the U.S. search giant could be announced as early as today in Japan, sources said, and could be part of a larger deal between the two companies around mobile or other products.


If Google and Yahoo Japan join together, the pair will control almost the entire market share of search in the Japanese market. Paid search is apparently not part of this deal at this time.

But in search query volume, Yahoo Japan currently has just over a 56 percent share of the search market and Google has just over 31 percent. Microsoft has almost a 3 percent share.



 6:39 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's official now according to the Google Japan blog [googlejapan.blogspot.com]. Yahoo! Japan will be licensing search from Google just as it did from 2001 to 2004.

Some are saying that this represents blow to the Microsoft/Yahoo deal, but personally I prefer the Google SERPs in Japanese. Did Bing ever have a chance in Japan?

So, now Google comes from behind to take a commanding lead in Japanese search. The estimate is that they will now have an 87% share of Japanese search market. This is the biggest thing to happen to Japanese search for many years. It's fun watching all the tweets on the topic.


 6:53 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yahoo Japan Confirms Google Switch from Yahoo for Both Paid and Algo Search [kara.allthingsd.com]

“Yahoo! Japan announced that it has chosen to implement Google as its backend algorithmic search engine and paid search infrastructure. Yahoo! Japan made this decision as an independent and separate publicly traded company, in which Yahoo! holds a 35% equity interest. We amended our agreement with Yahoo! Japan as a result of this decision, and we do not anticipate that this amendment will have a material financial impact on our revenues. We will provide support, as required by our agreement, for the search experience Yahoo! Japan has chosen for its business, and we will continue to partner closely with Yahoo! Japan in other areas including mail, messenger, mobile, our content properties and more.

This decision by Yahoo! Japan does not impact the global rollout and implementation of the Yahoo! search alliance with Microsoft, except in the Japanese market. We remain confident in our transition plans for the search alliance, are driving innovation in the user experience around search on the Yahoo! network, and continue to be committed to our alliance with Microsoft.


 7:03 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Japan, going with the best available, I'm not surprised. A+


 8:08 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yahoo Japan has issued a press release [pr.yahoo.co.jp] on the tie up. (Sorry it's all in Japanese.)


 11:54 am on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Doesn't Japan have anti-trust laws? How could this benefit the people of Japan? Can someone say Monopoly?


 1:06 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

I honestly don't see where this would lie if we where to have an anti-trust debate. As it stands Yahoo! is a force to be reckoned with in Japan. Its they who have opted to use Google.

To an extent this may be seen as quite the opposite as abusing a monopoly.



 2:11 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

It's a smart move in many ways, as it means that Yahoo has a small gun to hold against Microsoft, as they own nearly 35% of Yahoo Japan....

By effectively ceding the Japanese market to Google, they will ensure that even the limited presence that Microsoft has in search here will effectively drop to near-zero and that's something to hold in reserve when they come to renegotiate the terms of the Bing deal to serve searches on Yahoo.com.

At the same time, it gives Yahoo a bake-off (Bing and Microsoft Advertising on .com vs Google and Google Adwords on .co.jp) which should yield long-term data on who they should get closer to, and who to gradually push away from.


 3:14 pm on Jul 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

Major news in Japan maybe and if your on that market which I expect most US webmasters are not.


 1:46 am on Jul 28, 2010 (gmt 0)

The New York Times' Hiroko Tabuchi put together a decent piece on this:
Yahoo Japan Teams With Google on Search [nytimes.com]

Yahoo Japan’s adoption of Google’s search technology would mean that about 90 percent of Web queries in Japan would be powered by the company. Yahoo Japan used Google technology for its search engine from 2001 to 2004, but then switched back to Yahoo’s system.

Masahiro Inoue, chief executive of Yahoo Japan, said that after a year of careful analysis, the company had concluded that it would ultimately benefit more from Google’s search engine than from Microsoft’s because of Google’s record in Japanese-language queries. Google has had a presence in Japan since 2001.

“At the present time, we feel there are quite a few areas where Microsoft is not yet ready,” Mr. Inoue said Tuesday at a news conference in Tokyo. “Google is one step ahead in Japanese-language services.”


 2:06 am on Aug 3, 2010 (gmt 0)

Yahoo Japan is saying that they will not be using pure Google SERPs, but rather augmenting their results with Google data. If true that would still leave some differentiation in the Japanese SE market.

Yahoo Japan Chief Says Deal With Google Is Misunderstood [e.nikkei.com]

The new alliance with Google Inc. "is so complicated that it is not understood correctly," Yahoo Japan Corp. President Masahiro Inoue said Monday.


President Inoue explains Yahoo Japan's new alliance with Google.
But in a news conference Monday, Inoue said that "information from Google will constitute no more than a portion of search results." He emphasized that Yahoo Japan, the nation's No. 1 search provider, plans to keep its search services original by combining its own proprietary content with Google's.


"The ratio of information not provided by (Google's) search engine will increase in the future," Inoue said. "As a result, the way our search services look will become increasingly different."

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