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Yahoo! Japan to Set up Web Consulting Subsidiary

 1:37 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

WallStreet Research Net is reporting [wsrn.com] that Yahoo Japan will, "provide Internet business consulting, and plan, develop,
and operate various Web services

Just what we need - the largest competitor on the planet. You might want to remember this story as it will be extremely significant to SEO and Webmastery in the coming months. More and more search engines are going to start doing this thing.

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 3:03 pm (utc) on Aug. 22, 2002]



 3:18 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hmmm - thats a worrying development.

Their guarantees would carry a little more weight than most of ours.



 3:52 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Seems there is some inherent conflict of interest. They better offer some incredible value, Yahoo has a rep of shafting the public wallet.

jeremy goodrich

 3:54 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

More and more search engines are going to start doing this thing.

Hearing that makes me think of the FTC finally taking a look at search engines - now, if they are already looking at the problems of XML paid inclusion, advertising which you can't tell is advertising then things will get very interesting indeed.

So, Yahoo! sets up the consulting arm - to help me with my Yahoo! submissions - which they can pitch as getting me better placement than some SEO firm?

I see lots of problems with this...just one example, though.


 4:20 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is just what the advertising media giants did in the 60-70's. All the big TV companies slowly added consulting firms to extend their services. In doing so, they took away much of madison avenues business and independent consultants business. It's also the path that the accounting firms took in the 80's, and 90's.


 5:36 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Ok..If I'm understanding this correctly, Yahoo is going to open a type of SEO service?

jeremy goodrich

 5:41 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

Yahoo! Japan decided to establish the new subsidiary to enable the company to
more efficiently cope with the diversifying needs of corporate users who are
relying increasingly on Web technologies and services in their businesses.

Sounds like for a fee, you can talk to somebody about your Yahoo! submission - and then, for another fee, have them change it :)

Essentially this might be a smokescreen to do some basic SEO - eg, Yahoo! submissions so that they get a bigger bite of revenue, without doing a whole lot.

And then, for another fee, the consulting arm of Yahoo can tell you about their hosting services, and domain services - telling you all the time what we've known about buying multiple domains, which will all be bought through Y! and hosted on their servers.

Slick, really. It'll take off, because why wouldn't it? They are essentially jumping into the SEO game - but because they want to test it out, figure Japan would be a better market than the US one (they might also be thinking about the public backlash about the looksmart move changing from directory to pay per click search engine).


 8:31 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think they are talking consulting on every part from the users finger tips to the time a page is loaded in their browser. Hosting, ad consulting, page design, search engine listings - all the tech issues involved in operating a site. It sounds like your basic full Webmaster consulting package.

jeremy goodrich

 8:48 pm on Aug 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

yes, but the price has got to be something else - or else it wouldn't be Yahoo!, would it?

I wonder if they do get seriously into this, what happens to the relationship with Google? Would Google walk away from so much $$$ if they thought their own partner / owner of 10% of their business was helping to take stabs at their heart - PageRank ?

Imagine if Yahoo really decided to sell out PageRank the way we've been talking - how could you distinguish that from their normal listings?

Throw in the PageRank on top of the rest of the services you mentioned, Brett, and I think they have one unbeatable sale - provided they got the clients to pay the money.


 3:25 am on Aug 23, 2002 (gmt 0)

I think you might be reading a bit more into this consulting company than you should. Keep in mind that Yahoo! Inc. only holds 33.6% of the shares of Yahoo! Japan. The biggest shareholder is Softbank Corp., which holds a controlling 50.5% of Yahoo! Japan shares. To me this move sounds more like something that Softbank would do. They've got their fingers in a wide variety of companies and it wouldn't surprise me if they were pushing this consulting angle.

Also remember that it's only 3 people, and according to the press release "the subsidiary will concentrate its efforts on Internet-related research, information collection, and related areas." Yahoo! Japan's release about UniCept, Inc. [docs.yahoo.co.jp] I don't get the feeling that this will be any type of SEO/improve your listings on Yahoo! type of service...rather I'd say that they're going to play with the Yahoo! name (which is huge in Japan), and offer straight-up web business consulting. It will be interesting to see if this grows into anything more.

Mikkel Svendsen

 11:54 am on Aug 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

It is logical for any large portal to expand the business - and if that involves SEO, so what?

I think we all better get prepared for this move. We have to think about how we can add more value to SEO - value that a portal like Yahoo can not deliver. That will take some creativity - but that should not be a problem for the majority of "us". After all, wasnt it exactly what brought us here and build this (SEO) business? :)

OK, I admit it, for the lazy, non-savvy SEO that do not want to develop his business this can be a problem but not for the rest of us. We will compete like we always did, find new ways to add value and move on

Im not scared :-)


 11:07 pm on Aug 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi Mikkel, good to see you here.

That's very good advice, thanks. I, for one, will take it :)

Things like this keeps the game interesting and exciting.


 1:01 am on Sep 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

Along the same lines...Yahoo! Japan, INTAGE to Set up Internet Research Company article here [japancorp.net] Starting October 1, Yahoo! Japan will have a minority share of this venture. Essentially they will be offering Nielsen type ratings and surveys at discount rates. By undercutting the competition and using Yahoo's name recognition in the Japanese market they could become very big very quickly.

whats up skip

 11:07 am on Sep 26, 2002 (gmt 0)

I have to agree with Bill on this one.

Yahoo Japan is much stronger in the Japanese market than Yahoo is in the USA. In terms of search results google.yahoo.co.jp delivers us twice as much traffic to our Japanese language site as does the combined traffic of google.com and google.co.jp.

What Yahoo Japan does in the Japanese market may never happen outside of Japan with Yahoo. Different owners, different markets, different cultures, but the same brand.

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