AlanS, I hope that you find it in you to continue to participate in WebmasterWorld and the Local Search Forum..
You put forth effective points to the question of Googles' current market position, but i question the outlook over the long-term.
>>1) Yahoo has limited inventory and
...and google has a loosely configured network of third-party publishers.
AdSense contributed 50% of Goolge's overall revenue in Q3(04). AlanS, this is a contextual network at the end of the day. And one should naturally expect the 50% contextual rev to rise as Google looses pure search marketshare over the next few years, while growing its contextual network.
>>2) Google users (while maybe not as well identified as Yahoo users) use Google when showing "intent" which makes keyword targeting highly effective.
Search is an effective advertising vehicle yes. But see #1, as *context and intent* are two words that are hard to swallow when standing together. - *context and behavior, demographics, and geographics* well, that is more digestable.
>>Google is already earning much more profit on its ad sales than Yahoo is.
True. But at least Yahoo owns and continues to invest in *their* inventory and *their* user. As competition further enters the contextual space, Y included, and more favorable rev share models arrive, it is then that i would rather own my inventory and the user. it is then that the eight years of relationship building, community building, user data, user generated content, and DIVERSIFICATION will serve to promote stability and staying power.
>>Even if Yahoo starts to deliver all these multiple layers of targeting I still think that the costs associated with this type of targeting are rather high.
True. But the prices can and will go down. Especially as further data aggregation, ad serving technology, and the marketplace at large, provides for and demands such.
>>How reliable are these measures anyway?
Based on user generated profile data - Very.
>>Even if that inventory is not as highly targeted as Yahoo's it meets a demand.
No doubt. I am talking about long-term disadvantages though.
>>Also, I bet Google knows a lot more about you and me than we think. Gmail, desktop search, and they know what websites we look at (adsense).. I don't think we're as anonymous as we think
Maybe Google *is* a portal in disguise:/
Maybe when it comes clean, it will be able to innovate from an ad serving standpoint and publically acknowledge and invest in understanding their users. Because context and distribution will only get this multibillion dollar darling so far.
AlanS, when next year Google plays cathup and buys up some Insider Pages, City Search, or some more/other type of Orkut social networking/ user generated community/ technology etc., and they use it serve ads based upon aggregated user based profiles, will we be able to call them a portal then?
"We are search engine, not a portal".
Internet trends, particularly from a community, specialization, and ad serving standpoint, are working counter to what I currently see as Google's public positioning. The changes that they need to make are the very changes the provides Y its comparitive strengths. Beyond simply liking to speculate, I would love for someone over there to acknowledge that. Then again, I did say speculate:/