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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]
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.
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).
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.
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.
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, wasn’t 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 …
I’m not scared :-)
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.