16 thoughts on “Another Day, Another Yahoo Rumor”

  1. The BBC posted the story regarding reCAPTCHA digitizing books October 2007, the Times UK posted the same story August 2008, almost a year later.

    Maybe John Waples should of talked to Mike Harvey before posting the story.

    Just a few weeks ago Ballmer stated that, “acquisition is a thing of the past”, that sounds pretty final, doesn’t it?

  2. I just searched for a Product, including Product ID on Amazon, no results. Searched on Google with the same Product ID. First thing that comes up is an AD from Amazon for the Product with a link to it’s page on Amazon, all other high ranked links are basically link spam.

    Today’s product search is pathetic.

    What Microsoft needs to do, is change the search experience by forcing Google to start competing on equal terms again (or not so equal). Not try to buy another company which just another search tool, but leaving the rules of the game the same.

  3. @Ronald

    spot on… i think the only way to beat Google – outwit them by offering better search experience. I think as long as people are unable to do that, Google will keep getting bigger and bigger.

  4. @OM
    I think it all boils down to ROI,if you develop such technology. It will not only be good for search, a few 3 letter agencies come to mind which will take the math and run with it.
    Meaning you don’t have to build a scalable system which might have, or not, Microsoft as an exit strategy.
    Microsoft by itself seems to be incapable of developing it , even they are easy accessible (Steve B) and don’t have a big NIH. They have a _lot_ of lawyers. And without Microsoft good luck out racing Google.
    So it comes down to spending a lot of Money and deal with Microsoft Lawyers or just do the research and deal with some other Lawyers.
    Take your poison.

  5. @Ronald

    So you are essentially saying – build kick ass technology. maybe sell it to some agencies. but ultimately sellout to microsoft and hope that they can throw enough resources at it and make google sweat bullets.

  6. @OM
    No. If you sell it to agencies it’s gone. Classified and gone. For the few people who can actually do this kind of stuff it’s a trade of, like ROI is.
    The bottom line is basically the same for the amount of work and risk you put into it.
    Think about it this way, if you really want to put data into context. You need to do some form of decomposition, which requires rudimentary understanding of concepts. Which requires autonomous building of abstract concepts and on it goes …
    What else can you do with a system like that, even if it’s just described in math. and verified by Neurologists to make sure mother nature does basically the same.
    Would you waste it on search?
    Oh btw consciousness is not a state it’s a scale, so you have to deal with that too. Just to clarify, since most people (Psychologist/Neurologist) think boom there it is, not so in math.

  7. I think the piece that people are missing is that in order for you to effectively monetize search, you need a large breadth of advertisers buying a huge breadth of keywords. No technology is going to give MSFT this market share in the short term as most digital marketers will only put large pieces of thier budgets behind platforms that get a large percentage of the query volume. That is why Yahoo! is so attractive to MSFT. They get a decent chunk of the overall search market and will allow their technologies (which they probably see as superior to YHOO) to create a much more efficient marketplace.

  8. @feeldumb
    I disagree. Companies want something that works. Why did they go from TV or Banner ads to Google, because Google works measurable better.
    Now why does Google work?
    Try to teach a system the meaning of mean.
    First thing, there is a difference between being mean and by x I mean y.
    Then there is a difference in situation of how mean being mean is, which can differ widely between people and situation. And X might not mean the same to me or you, so Y can differ.
    It all boils down to context not equal context from person to person and for that persons situation.
    Which leads to, as better I can predict a context as better I can predict behavior, hence keyword search works better then Banner or TV ads. It has a limited scope, better context, better click through.
    Can we do better then that, sure. But that is not where the money goes, scalability (data centers) is where it goes. You have to compete on speed too, not only accuracy. Or the impatient brain goes for good enough, if it has to wait to long for really good, all depends on situation again. But I would not bet against fast good enough.
    I assume Yahoo is mostly about banner ads, you need a lot of eyeballs to get to the same click through rate of good keyword search (see above). Therefore without a better understanding on how things work an investment in Yahoo is wasted money, they need to make those banner ads click through rates much better.

  9. @ronald

    Go take a gander at Yahoo’s earnings statements. Yahoo is just as much about search as it is about display.

  10. @feeldumb

    I didn’t understand why Google bought doubleclick either. Except that nobody at Google has any clue what information is.

    In any case if their business is split 50-50, then the 50% which uses banner ads has a much lower ROI. Since normally your bandwidth/data processing is higher then keyword search (normalized data) combined with less click through. Just tell me what those numbers really are.

    We could also take a peek at what Yahoo means (ok couldn’t help it) by search and how much so called business intelligence (real Intelligence is a feel good term form psychology) goes into it to make it look that way , but I will let you explain that to me.

  11. @ronald

    If you are defining ROI as purely the return from an actual click, then I agree with you search will typically outperform display. What display does offer to a greater extent over search is promoting a brand. The reason you don’t see a ton of direct response advertisers on TV or in print is because the strict return from those mediums typically won’t ever make good business sense.

    That being said, display offers a much better opportunity to display one’s brand, and brand advertisers have the money to spend to promote that brand. One of the reasons typical ad networks have such low eCPMs is that networks often don’t offer a safe place for brands to promote themselves. High value publishers (hint: Yahoo!) on the other hand offer a safe place for brand advertisers to play, add that onto contextually relevant content and the ability to retarget different audience segments via behavioral targeting lead to very competitive eCPMs and certainly higher than anything Google can generate from AdSense.

    My point I guess is while search is very important and is cleary Google’s bread and butter, it is just one piece of a larger online advertising pie.

    I don’t understand your last question, but forget what Yahoo means by search and look at some of the independent vendors that measure things like search advertising spend and overall search query volume. Yahoo! still commands ~17% market share which is significant to most advertisers and as Google continues to manipulate their marketplace (think reserve prices for keywords which kills much of your ROI argument) advertisers may be looking for greener grass.

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