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Asia and Pacific Region Forum

Will YahooJapan dump Google?

 10:55 am on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Do you think YahooJapan will dump GoogleJapan anytime soon? If so, do you think Yahoo will keep their "categories" at the beginning of search result pages?

Unfortunately, GoogleJapan is not so strong without YahooJapan. I personally would like to see them of equal strength.



 12:54 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

Unfortunately, GoogleJapan is not so strong without YahooJapan. I personally would like to see them of equal strength.
What makes you think that?

Last November there was an interview [webmasterworld.com] with Norio Murakami (President of Google Japan) in which he replied to the question "How is Google doing in Japan? "
Well, we've been here since 2001. Currently, 75% of search activities in Japan end up with the Google engine. When we complete a tie-up with the NTT group on Dec 1, maybe it'll be 90%. The majority of searches still go through our partners such as Nifty, Biglobe, Yahoo, Excite, etc.

Google will still have a nice market share in Japan even if Yahoo! Japan (which is for some part owned by Softbank [webmasterworld.com]) drops Google.


 1:45 pm on May 18, 2004 (gmt 0)

What makes me think that? My server logs. I get more hits though the Yahoo/Google alliance than Google alone and their other partners combined. This sort of thing may vary with industry. I would like to see more Google stand alone searches. If YahooJapan dumps GoogleJapan, I hope Google can establish a strong client base here.

Lastly, I hope YahooJapan gets rid of those categories that clutter up their SEPRs.


 12:21 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

The loss of Yahoo for Google Japan would be a bit more dramatic than it was in the West. The Yahoo name and branding in Japan are still a lot stronger than Google from the consumer point of view. Everyone knows who Yahoo is in Japan. They've got prime time commercials for their broadband service. They've got girls in small plastic mini skirts on all the main street corners hawking their wares. I know they're selling the ADSL service, but that gets the name out in front of the consumers. We geeks know about Google, but I still see a lot of people using Yahoo. The brand name is very strong here, and if you know Japan you know that a good brand goes a long way.

Yes, Google Japan has become the Inktomi of yesteryear. They power a lot of portal searches in addition to Yahoo. At the time of that interview they may have had an overwhelming market-share of searches. However, if they lose Yahoo I wonder what portion of the market they'd be left with.


 3:08 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Exactly my point Bill, according to my server logs, they would be left with much less than 50%.


 3:59 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

I tried to find some data about search engine usage in Japan. A reliable but a little old (end of 2002) source I found here [kiko-net.com]. In the graph you can see what search engine they used (more than one answer was allowed). Yahoo Japan had over 70%, Goo had a little over 25%, Google about 20%, followed by Infoseek, MSN Search and Lycos Japan with each 10% or more. It was mentioned that Goo and Google increased their marketshare, but I think the graph would not be very different now. After seeing that graph I better understand ron_ron's fear. Sorry.


 5:26 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

Goo is now powered by Google though. Back then it was still an Inktomi holdout. Goo is tied in with the NTT group, so that explains Google's big jump from the article you quoted earlier.

If the switch happened today I think Yahoo Japan would hold the lion's share of the market.


 10:38 am on May 19, 2004 (gmt 0)

IMOH, it's only a matter of time before Yahoo Japan switch search results to the Yahoo USA engine.

For all the logs I've seen in Japan, Yahoo provides more traffic than Google, in most cases at least 2:1 except for very technical topics on some few occasions.

Yahoo is definitely the stronger brand in Japan.



 2:51 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

I've heard rumors of Tuesday, June 1.


 4:02 am on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Well, if that's true, we'll know soon enough.


 1:11 pm on May 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

Im not much of a gambler but I'm willing to bet it doesn't happen June 1 :-)



 7:29 am on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Technically I think you're right, kazonik. It looks like they made the switch from Google to YST at about 1pm today, Japan time, a day earlier than what was rumoured.


 7:36 am on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Its official!

The switch is appearing in serps.

This will really rev up the SE battle here in japan.


p.s. hehehe, where do I collect my payout?


 7:59 am on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Could they possibly load more categories into the SERPs? I haven't spent much time on Yahoo today, but it looks like the categories are even more infused into the results. What are you guys seeing?

<added>this new Digest view looks cluttered to me. Some Japanese SEO boards are saying that this will be the death knell for Yahoo...I highly doubt that. Things still seem to be settling.


 8:59 am on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Which Japanese SEO boards are those, bill? I don't think this will be negative for Yahoo. Probably no change. Perhaps a bigger challenge to Yahoo is Microsoft's Longhorn, an OS that looks to get rid of the stand alone browser. Maybe this is why Google is getting into desktop search?


 9:33 am on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

Actually, I think Google is dropping Yahoo.

Yahoo would love to keep Google as they can use their results to compliment their own.


 4:36 pm on May 31, 2004 (gmt 0)

It's funny, I just had a long discussion on the phone today with Rakuten. We talked about what the effect of this would be once it happened. But it must have happened even before we talked about it. They are naturally worried. Yahoo is locatted in the same building they are but they can't even talk about it. Rakuten has a lot to lose should the rankings change for their mall sites. They are worried.

For my Japanese sites, the results are both good and bad. The increase in categories before the regular SERP's has put my sites further down. However, my main site is still ranking number one after the categories, just where I was on Google. My other site came up some but it is pretty much the same as on Google. Since I optimize my English and Japanese sites the same way, I find that I rank just about the same on both Yahoos as I do on both Googles. For me, both search engines work about the same.

My main site has over 1,000 pages on Google and I find it it also has about that many pages on the new YahooJapan engine. Other than the flood of categories, Yahoo seems to work about the same as Google. I wish they would get rid of those stupid categories. They clutter up the SERPs in my openion.

I will have a look the server logs tomorrow. It will be interesting to see how this change will affect sales. As far as today is concerned, sales were about same as always.


 1:51 am on Jun 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Japanese SEO boards
Some of the posters on some SEO BBS sites were complaining about the SERPS early on. They were saying that Yahoo's layout kills natural SEO because of the categories cluttering things up. I guess they weren't doing as well as they were in the Google SERPs ;) Other than the categories the new SERPs don't look all that bad to me. I'm seeing pretty relevant results for the searches I normally do. I think some people were hoping that Yahoo Japan would bury the categories when they switched over to Inktomi.

 2:30 am on Jun 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here's the Yahoo press release [docs.yahoo.co.jp] about the switch.


 3:39 am on Jun 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

So then is the progression: leaving the "category" search as the default, and then switching over to "page" as the default in a few months? This is what Yahoo USA did isn't it?


 8:37 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)


I'm intersted in having the english translation of the official press release from yahoo japan. Is it available? Or maybe someone could help me!


 8:56 am on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

So then is the progression: leaving the "category" search as the default, and then switching over to "page" as the default in a few months?
Not sure about that. Yahoo Japan has a bit of autonomy. They've followed the .com pattern with other areas but haven't shown much inclination to change this area. Maybe they're still making a good profit on the directory listings. You would think that this would be a great time to switch over to new SERPs if they were going to do so.

english translation of the official press release
I've looked around to see if anything has showed up in the English press, but haven't seen anything yet. Since this thread is on the front page now there's bound to be a news agency that will pick it up. You could make use of any number of online machine translation services for free if you just want the gist of the release. AltaVista's Babel comes to mind...


 12:26 pm on Jun 2, 2004 (gmt 0)

First English message about this outside WebmasterWorld is: Yahoo Japan Adapts Yahoo Search Technology and Overture Ads [searchenginejournal.com].


 12:38 am on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

Here's a poorly informed piece [www.] that works off the blog entry takagi spotted.
Not only is Yahoo Japan dropping Google from their search engine, starting yesterday, the Japanese portal began having all of its SERP ads served by Overture.
SearchEngineJournal reports that previously, Yahoo Japan search results featured ads served by other search companies, with Overture ads mixed. Now Yahoo Japan will be Overture only.

To anybody who knows anything about Yahoo Japan you will recall that they opted to use both AdWords and Overture PPC. Of course now they no longer carry the AdWords. That article made it sound like Yahoo Japan had a smorgasbord of ads from other companies.

If you see any decent articles about this switch in English let me know. There's a lot about this in Japanese.


 4:29 pm on Jun 4, 2004 (gmt 0)

The following is my server log between when Yahoo dropped Google and today. Not a whole lot of difference from when Yahoo used Google.













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