After watching all the responses to the post I made on Marketing Pilgrim last Friday with Jerry Yang and the Google Kings of the World showing what it’s like to be on opposite side of the search engine coin, I really started to wonder what might be getting in the way over at Yahoo!. I have to suspect the number one culprit is pride. In most cases, if someone is acting irrationally or seems to be completely disconnected from the facts, it is their pride that is clouding the issue. I gotta suspect that the corner offices of Yahoo! are filled with some folks that may need the extra space for their ego.
Let’s be honest. If you are in the search marketing business how much importance do you place on Yahoo!’s organic results? I know many might say that the paid search offering is still viable but even that is no longer their own now. From a search perspective this company is a train wreck.
On Saturday, the stakes may not have gotten higher but they sure got uglier. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft was looking to buy the search business of Yahoo! as a separate entity and then the Carl Icahn side of the Yahoo! deal would be about the leftovers and board seat and you name it. At any rate, Yahoo! could look very different and quite possibly a lot better.
Look, I am no captain of industry but if I were Yahoo! I would look at this deal as a godsend. These two foes, Yahoo! and Microsoft are certainly formidable but Microsoft is still Goliath to Yahoo!’s David (which isn’t even fair because at least David beat Goliath which won’t happen here). If I were Yahoo! I would be thrilled to get ANYTHING for the search business because it is a Yugo compared to the Google (insert insanely expensive, high end, high performance best of class automobile of choice here). With Microsoft’s search business (which is more of a bottom feeder than Yahoo!’s – go figure) taking on the added weight of a poorly performing search engine wannbe like Yahoo! that whole side of the search “industry” will just sink straight to the bottom faster than the Titanic. Yahoo! gets rid of a dog and Microsoft takes a huge hit as well. A Yahoo! win / win as far as I can tell.
I know I am naïve to the intricacies of these kinds of deals but I can see human nature at work here for sure. Jerry Yang thinks he knows what Yahoo! is – a search engine. That may fly in the boardroom but in the marketplace no one is buying it. What I do buy from Yahoo! is the fact that I have had a Yahoo! e-mail address for 10 years and I still use it DAILY! I go to Yahoo!’s home page EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE (which may mean I may not have much of a life)! Because of that I have started to look at the other parts of the Yahoo! portal and I have become mildly interested in some areas. That is good for Yahoo!. The one thing I NEVER do though (other than using their link: operator) is use the Yahoo! search function. It’s simply inferior. Now I may be atypical but I don’t think so. The people that are using the Yahoo! search engine are not nearly the demographic of a Google search user and they are not going to be extremely valuable in the future either. Jerry, just admit that Google wins on this one and adapt to the new world order so you can do the right thing for your shareholders and employees of Yahoo!. Check the ego at the door so everyone can cash checks for themselves.
Comment Fodder: Tell your take on where Yahoo! should go with this. Am I missing something here? I need the input of those in the know.
SMB Takeaway: Greed, ego and avarice will take down any deal real quick. I have been told that every business is just 90 days away from extinction. I believe that now. Yahoo! needs to play in the new world order and do the next right thing: stop calling itself a search engine company and move on for the benefit of us all!
Thanks and have a great day!