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Should Yahoo's Performance be Measured Against Google's?

 5:30 am on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

In another thread someone compared Yahoo's performance against Google and said Yahoo comes up short. However, is that metric meaningful if virtually any company appears short when compared to Google?

What does it mean if Yahoo's PPC program isn't as huge in comparison to Google? What does it mean that Google's lack of reach in email and display advertising is dwarfed by Yahoo? I believe it might be time to look at what we look at when we look at these two companies, and maybe figure out if we're really looking at what we think we're looking at. ;)

I keep seeing comparisons to Google in news reports about Yahoo but when you think deeply about it, it seems like the comparision is not quite right. Yahoo sells domains, but you never hear Yahoo's overall business performance compared to Network Solutions. They overlap, but Yahoo's approach to the Internet is different than NetSol.

Couldn't the same be said about Yahoo and Google? Their businesses overlap in places but their approaches to monetizing the Internet and the advertising opportunities exclusive to those different approaches are different. Think about it: Yahoo Stores, Yahoo Domains, Flickr, Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Music Jukebox, MyYahoo, Yahoo the Portal; Yahoo is all over the place. When people interact with each other, they often choose Yahoo. If it's true that Yahoo's approach to the internet is different, doesn't the view of Yahoo and Google as face to face, mano a mano competitors begin to break down?

Some of what Yahoo does overlaps with Google, but what Yahoo does is vastly broader than what Google does, and they do it well. I've been thinking about it lately and the more I think about the comparision, the less it's making sense. Just because Yahoo overlaps with Google in search monetization, does that mean it warrants a direct comparison against Google? Should we also compare their financial performance against GoDaddy because they happen to overlap with Yahoo Domains?

I'm on the fence. Conventionally Yahoo and Google are viewed and compared as direct competitors. However the more I look at it the less that makes sense. Is this insistent comparison of Yahoo's performance to Google valid or is it unreflective groupthink?



 12:24 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

They are very different companies, with very different strategies, and a direct comparison may provoke discussion - but doesn't take us forward much if at all.

Far more useful to compare the parts than the whole; and look at the current offering to users, rather than the size or shape of the company for example,

In Web Search, they compete directly, and Yahoo! comes up short. Not just that Google gets used more; Google results at this time are better.

In Advertising, Yahoo! comes up short, for both publishers and advertisers, in terms of the services and ROI that is available at this time.

In Web Mail, Yahoo! comes up short, though they are putting a lot of new developments in; watch that space!

In Portals, Yahoo! wins hands down ... for the 3,816 remaining portal lovers - but flares came back into fashion, who can say portals won't? :)

It's easy to see Doom & Gloom at Yahoo! and there's no doubt that in many areas, at this time, Google run rings around them. But, unlike a certain other large company with an interest in search, Yahoo! doesn't blame Google, the government, Linux or anyone else. And neither, like another company you might ask about, do they drop technical development in favor of gimmicks and trite marketing.

They just get on with it.

They've earned our respect, and it would not be sensible to write them off.


 12:50 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

but what Yahoo does is vastly broader than what Google does

I've had this same thought for a long time, now. Yahoo has a far greater depth to it than does Google.

Google is sort of a one-trick-pony --it's good at finding other people's stuff. But Yahoo seems to be into everything that people are interested in and they do it as an actual *publisher* of content, not as just the world's largest scraper, which is what Google has been up until now.

But, I also think that Google is slowly shifting over to more of a Yahoo-type approach, as evidenced by the GNews/AP deal.


 3:21 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

In Advertising, Yahoo! comes up short, for both publishers and advertisers...

Now this is one of those areas that needs a second look. The reason is because of what someone else said:

Yahoo has a far greater depth to it than does Google.

Google's publisher network may not be top of mind to big advertisers. That's the motivation behind buying DoubleClick, to catch up with Yahoo. When a marketer promotes a movie or a new album, they turn to Yahoo, not Google. People do so many different things when they visit Yahoo. The purchase so many different services directly from Yahoo. Is Google really the appropriate yardstick? Or should NetSol be the yardstick? How about Monster.com or Amazon?


 3:41 pm on Oct 18, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is Yahoo the first one they turn to?

Then chalk up one to Yahoo! I don't think either Amazon or Monster are into that kind of advertising, any more than Google is.

All these companies are different. There's no advantage comparing total company with total company, any more than you can can compare News International with Sony, Amazon with Target, even Reuters with CNN; they have bits in common, but the totality is different; the history, strategy and structure is different.

Are there any other areas where you think Yahoo! is ahead of Google? I'm sure there's some, just as there's more areas not yet mentioned where Google leads Yahoo!

But now I don't see the point you are trying to make ... other than Chalk and Cheese are different!

I don't know the other thread ... but if they were comparing Yahoo! Inc with Google Inc, then you are right; it's not a useful comparison. It is inescapable, when you look at the detail, that Google leads in more segments that Yahoo! ... but so what?


 7:00 am on Oct 25, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google leads in more segments that Yahoo! ... but so what?


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