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Can I just add my tuppence worth?
It's not a monopoly. It's nothing like a monopoly.
It's not even like the semi-monopoly microsoft enjoys, which exists because I'm not free to use a non-microsoft operating system with windows-compatible software. Sure, I could use Linux or whatever, but then all my windows software would be useless. I could use Linux with linux software but the user base is smaller so commercial companies are deterred from developing for it. Microsoft has locked in the consumer with a vicious circle of compatibility problems.
Google doesn't lock you in to their search engine, Fast search and all the rest are only a click away, and as soon as Google's quality drops I'll move to a different engine. If I want to I can run several searche engines side by side on my desktop, it doesn't cost me any more time or money. I can't run the same software on Linux and Windows.
If you still don't believe me, consider that 5 or 7 years ago we would have been talking about how Yahoo or Altavista had the monopoly on search results. They didn't really have monopolies either, and that's why Google was able to rise to the top as it provided the best product in the best way.
Yes, Google is very very popular, but saying they have a monopoly is like saying Coca Cola has a monopoly on soft drinks. If coke tasted bad, there's absolutely no mechanism to deter consumers from buying something else.
I agree Google has a great deal of power because of their popularity, but it's a fragile power that would disappear were they to abuse it (e.g. by putting unmarked paid-for results mixed in with the normal ones). They're only no 1 when they're the no 1 for results. The reason monopolies are bad is that quality and value always cease to be the dominant issues, but that clearly isn't the case here.
At the moment, Yahoo, AOL and Google between them account for a huge percentage of searches, and this is the monopoly that webmasters here are referring to. For many sites, who can't afford Looksmart (and thus MSN), Google is the only potential source of large quantities of search engine traffic now. Fast can't provide it, a Yahoo directory listing will count for less (possibly), Inktomi is dead in the water and the remaining engines account for such a small percentage of searches they aren't really worth discussing.
Hence, for many webmasters, Google is the only source of se traffic, which is why it is seen as a "monopoly". If you aren't in Google, you are in trouble.
This whole issue brings up the role of SEO once more. We are now left with basically 2 things for SEOs to do:
1. PPC on Looksmart, Overture and Adwords. Between them these cover pretty much everything non-Google in the US market.
2. Promote a site for Google placement.
Everything not covered by these two combined willl account for what? 10%? 15% tops?
Yes I am aware that the directory has not been "canned". However, it is not searchable and if you want "search" results from the directory rather than the entire WWW you must tediously browse through each related category reading each description in search of your keywords or phrases. I see no means to search only the Yahoo directory. Am I missing a link? This is not efficient use of research time!
Is losing my listing clouding my judgment? Perhaps, but I can say that the money is of far less significance to me than the satisfaction I received from doing research for DR. XXX from Slovakia or Peru or timbuc2. Fortunately, my Yahoo listing has been included for four+ years and was free.
My Dean is aware of my moonlighting and will be made aware of the Yahoo removal at our next meeting or via list serve.
At the last regional congregation of librarians I attended (http://www.nahsl.org/); the lack of search result diversity was a frequent topic in casual conversation. Someone called it "the googleization of America". With this move by Yahoo, I have no doubt this lack of diversity will be a more significant topic on list serves and librarian discussion boards.
On a normal day, I was getting 1500-2000 visitors to my site and at least 1000 from Yahoo. I got less then 250 from Yahoo yesterday!
1. Google does not care about your site.
2. Yahoo is Google with ads.
3. Aol is Google with ads.
If you like google with pay per clicks on top of it, then Yahoo and AOL are great!
I think this is a really great move for yahoo because now they have absolutely nothing of value. Anyone that wants to slap together Overture, Google and Dmoz will kick the crap out of Yahoo. Very good move.
I am thinking of putting a yugo kit on the mercedes too. I think that would be a real good move to. Anyone care to trade in their bigscreen for a calculator?
Yahoo is a brand name and they will always have huge amounts of traffic. Now they provide world class search results which will keep eyeballs glued to their site.
This way they can focus on other revenue streams. Such as web hosting, premium e-mail, DSL service, banner ads, hotjobs, the list goes on and on.
I would guess that after you subtracted the cost of the directory management the fees did not count for a large part of their profit. So they are not counting on growth in that department and focusing on growth in other areas of the company.
The point about diversity on the web for the user, but also for the independant web publisher and promoter nevertheless is not invalid.
With the downgrading of the directory another Google independant window to the web has gone.
It's not a monopoly. It's nothing like a monopoly
I just listed 8 sites with Yahoo 2 months ago and was enjoying decent traffic until now. Now they have dropped off any Yahoo search. Seems to me they have a similar business model as L$, to hell with the customers who just paid... we have the money. As an ecomm webmaster Google is almost impossible to get decent listings due to the nature of the business, who is going to link to a ticket broker? Looks like its back to overture and adwords and try to find a bunch of obscure search phrases that are reasonbly priced.
Another thing they should be concerned about, is their VISA/Mastercard merchant accounts, which is going to be hit HARD with chargebacks from webmasters all around now. VISA doesnt give a **** if it's almighty Yahoo! Inc., as long as your merchant accounts hits 2.5% in chargebacks, it's sayanora to that, and you are on the TMF.
I am sure stockholders are going to LOVE that, and the drop in revenue.
The directory revenue is only about 5% of total rev., so it is better to sacrifice 5% of your revenue to make sure you keep the other 95% going.
More people will stick around which equals more money in the coffers.
Yes, that is nice indeed, but why would you go somewhere else to search, if you are happy with the results of your Y/google search?
Don't get me wrong, this change has been kind to me, but I am more nervous than ever. I don't like having all my eggs in one basket - or at least the great majority of them.
This is easy. Do a search from the Yahoo home page. When the results come up, click on the "Directory" link in the reverse bar at the top of the page. The results that come back will be pure Yahoo Directory matches -- no Google links involved. You can compare the counts to see the difference.
Alternatively, use the Yahoo Advanced Search Page:
and set the option to search only the Yahoo Directory.
The other factor is how directory results were presented to searchers at the time of purchase. There was obviously preference given to directory results, which is part of the value equation.
The situation is similiar to paying for a yellow pages ad in the phone book, and they later decide to print and distribute one book.
I think the lawyers call it something like "implied merchantability".
[edited by: john316 at 4:10 pm (utc) on Oct. 10, 2002]
This wonít be the death of Yahoo since all they would have to do if revenue plummeted is switch back. I do think itís a little sad that the story of two guys that the story of two guys who made a list of favorite sites is over. Then again, I guess it ended many years ago.
The bright side of this (besides those of us that are doing better,) is that this will move the industry farther away from the pure pay to play with soon to be astronomical prices scenario that everyone predicted. Unless of course Google started charging, then weíd be screwed.
The Yahoo! directory is organized by subject. Sites are placed in categories by Yahoo! Surfers, who visit and evaluate your suggestions and decide where they best belong. We do this to ensure that the directory is organized in the best possible way, making it easy to use, intuitive, helpful, and fair to everyone.
I just printed and saved the above quote from the Y Express inclusion page. This is what I paid for, this has apparently been abandoned. I canít imagine Amex not considering my charge back unless they are a major share holder of Y... or Google.. or Overture. I think a see a pattern.
Believe me I have been working on getting a better ranking in Google for quite a while. Quite a few of my keywords are very competitive and the best I have done so far is a top 40 ranking. That is why I have been using adwords. But a top 40 in Google is nothing compared to being ranked #1 in the old Yahoo!
I am also going to contact Amex and see if I can do a chargeback for my $299!