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What if Google drops the ODP?
Brett_Tabke




msg:1238358
 10:21 am on May 20, 2002 (gmt 0)

There was some discussion in the Google on Yahoo thread a few weeks ago about the possibility of Yahoo forcing Google to drop their Googl'ized ODP [directory.google.com]. I don't think it is out of the realm of reasonability that Yahoo would require that as a contract provision. After all, the odp is a competitor.

What would be the overall effect to you, if Yahoo told Google to dump the ODP as part of a new contract provision?

 

SmallTime




msg:1238418
 2:22 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

If Google were to drop ODP, I doubt that Yahoo would give them their directory. An Option I have wondered about is Google taking over administrating ODP from AOL. ODP does need major help if it is to continue, Google and AOL would benefit.

littleman




msg:1238419
 2:44 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

As I said before, Google does not have to be the best quality SE possible to beat out the competition -- all it needs to do is be better than the competition.

While dropping the ODP will hurt you and me, it will not hurt google.

Bentler




msg:1238420
 3:49 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

The way Google works, replacing their directory with a different one wouldn't affect my sites very much as long as Google didn't completely exclude ODP data from its search index. I think Google would contradict its business philosophy of providing excellent, unadulterated results if it ignored ODP as a valuable chunk of the Web.

Moreover, I agree with bird and yankee that Yahoo is in a poor position to dictate terms to Google with respect to ODP. Yahoo is losing market share rapidly, partly because they serve their significantly irrelevant directory results ahead of Google's superior results. Yahoo's search design really creates a hassle for their customers--people don't like having to sift through junk on the Web, they want to get what they want fast. After all, computers are built for that type of drudgery. What Yahoo really needs to do is dump their own page results and just merge their directory categories with Google's page results, and continue to add value to their portal services like finance, chat, discussion groups, etc. If Yahoo were to drop Google in favor of second-rate technology, it would lose customers even faster than it is now.

Google, on the other hand, has already overtaken Yahoo in information retrieval services, is growing rapidly and can profit without them. Google is in the position of kingmaker for any portal available while Yahoo appears to sit on its laurels milking its brand for advertising dollars even as its (search) customer base hemorrhages.

As to which directory is superior, I think ODP is more complete than Yahoo's with the quality of listings and descriptions being a draw. 50,000 volunteers and 3.5 million sites creates a pretty compelling business proposition for Google, especially when they add value to it by using their ranking technology and slap Google directory on it for free.

Yahoo has more to lose and Google less to gain in a strongarm move. It might make sense for Google to sacrifice its directory in exchange for Yahoo's directory AND its news search, though-- that might be a win-win.

jeremy goodrich




msg:1238421
 4:12 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

>>>>Effect on me if Google drops the ODP?

I would be a little sad, because it would indicate they are starting to want money more than relevance.. since the ODP, with all it's faults, is a lot better than Yahoo.

However, as pointed out, if Google did drop them, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense...

Unless I start to muse about Yahoo being one of Google's shareholders and a pretty big one, at that...so in many ways, though there isn't a whole lot of 'logic in it' or revenue, Google might just do it, if Yahoo asked.

Vukovic




msg:1238422
 4:23 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

Who cares if Google drops ODP as long as they continue to crawl the directory and give weight to the links found there?

minnapple




msg:1238423
 4:27 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

I am at two ends of this topic.

I have sites that were long listed in the ODP enjoy great listings in Google.

On the otherhand I have been unable to list new sites in some categories without success.

The revelancy of ODP is inconsistent, favoring older sites and categories that have active editiors.

It also has been reported in many posts that certain categories might be abused by self serving editors.

Basing any returns based upon this database is inconsistent and biased in some terms.

I do think the ODP has value, the question is how much.

mbauser2




msg:1238424
 9:20 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

If Yahoo demanded that Google drop directory.google.com, it would only prove one thing: Yahoo management is a bunch of idiots.

I have a lot of good ODP listings, with sites listed in exactly the relevant categories. Checking the last 30 days of server logs, referrals from directory.google.com are less than 1% of the total referrals from Google.

I haven't talked to anybody who said the Google Directory was a major traffic source for them. The traffic from directory.google.com is not a threat to Yahoo. There are more important things they could worry about.

vitaplease




msg:1238425
 9:32 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

If Google is as clever business-wise as they are search-engine wise, they should make a multi-year bulk fixed sum deal with AOL and with Yahoo. (and not a deal per search query).

The way Google is taking over market share, chances are that in two years time Yahoo- and AOL-search will have decimated to 20% of the searches that they have now anyway.

ciml




msg:1238426
 10:39 am on May 21, 2002 (gmt 0)

SmallTime:
> If Google were to drop ODP, I doubt that Yahoo would give them their directory.

Anyone know whether the Yahoo! Express listings bring in a reasonable % of revenue? If so, then surely Yahoo! would at least try to get Google to carry them.

Even if Google did run a branded version of the Yahoo! directory, I can't imagine the listings getting into the SERPs. It just seems too far from how they want to be perceived for the moment.

WindSun




msg:1238427
 2:02 am on May 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

If the Yahoo directory was anything close to being up to date I might worry about it.
Just a bit ago I came across a Yahoo listing for one of our ex competitors that has been off line since at least last November.
With all it's problems, DMOZ is still better than Yahoo.

Beachboy




msg:1238428
 2:06 am on May 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

What Bentler said. Well stated.

KMxRetro




msg:1238429
 9:01 am on May 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

It wouldn't cause me any trouble at all, as the ODP refuses to list my site for some reason or another.

heini




msg:1238430
 12:58 pm on May 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

One problem with Yahoo is they don't have cats for many languages.

So while for english sites and biz cats Yahoo might come close to the richness of ODP, for all other languages and informational cats Google would have a pretty poor directory when dropping ODP in favour of Yahoo.

jtoddv




msg:1238431
 6:44 pm on May 22, 2002 (gmt 0)

This is FUNDAMENTAL people.
Let me ask you a question: Why does Yahoo! have a web site?

Let's look at it from a monetary standpoint. They are both there to make money, right? And they way that Yahoo does is buy attacting users. Now if Google all of the sudden uses Yahoo directory, why would anyone want to go to Yahoo? The reason that Yahoo uses Google is because it can give their users the best possible search results beginning with their directory and then with Google results from the web pages section. This lets users stay at Yahoo and not leave, plus brings them back later. This builds up the user staying power of Yahoo. In return, the more people that come and the longer they stay, the more money that Yahoo can charge for ads, directory listings and other features. If they give up the directory, they are basically pushing their customers away. The customers could then go to Google and get the same results without all of the ads.

The only way that this scenerio will ever happen is if Google gets bought up by Yahoo.

webdiversity




msg:1238432
 11:47 pm on May 24, 2002 (gmt 0)

You left out the bit that Yahoo can offer up their pop under for Amazon, how cheap is that! Mind you wouldn't mind Yahoo's Amazon affiliate check for a day.

kris




msg:1238433
 12:04 am on May 25, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Why would anyone use Yahoo?

Because they know it. They advertise on the Super Bowl and they have that funny Yaaahooo yodle that sticks in your head. People use Yahoo because they and have spent a fortune in adverstising and have branded thier product. People are going to use Yahoo no matter what Google does.

I would say that 90% of internet searchers wouldn't know the difference anyway.

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