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Bartz Claims Yahoo’s “Never Been A Search Company”

Timeline-altering damage control

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This isn’t, to be honest, breaking news in the sense that the Microsoft-Yahoo deal was.  But neither is it a "man bites dog" bit of Friday fluff.  We just have a quote from Carol Bartz claiming that Yahoo’s "never been a search company." 

Carol Bartz

Bartz told Ashlee Vance in simple terms, "We have never been a search company.  It is, ‘I am on Yahoo.  I am going to do a search.’"

Those few statements could give away a fair amount of information.  Let’s start with the first sentence.  By saying that Yahoo’s never been all about search, Bartz is perhaps trying to downplay the fact that Microsoft will more or less take over Yahoo’s search efforts.  It’s like a kid who, after losing a favorite toy, professes not to have liked it, anyway.

Then there’s her splitting of semantic hairs to consider.  Although Bartz’s "I am on Yahoo.  I am going to do a search" observation is correct, it brings to mind the company’s loss to a search competitor.  Does anyone doubt that Bartz would rather have people "Yahoo" things rather than Google (or even Bing) them?

So the "I am on Yahoo" comment might also emphasize the idea of Yahoo being done with search.

It’s something to think about, anyway.  And here’s one last note that may reflect Bartz’s credibility with shareholders: Yahoo’s stock is down 0.81 percent right now, while the Dow and Nasdaq are up 1.73 percent and 1.77 percent, respectively.

Bartz Claims Yahoo’s “Never Been A Search Company”


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  • Guest

    This is a complete lie and spin. Sue Decker and Jerry Yang told investors for years that they were determined to be a strong #2 to Google. This is a fact! Ms. Bartz is dreaming if she thinks the market is going to buy this nonsense — sorry.

  • http://www.eporiaecommerce.com Website Design Seattle

    Have to agree with Bartz on this one. Many people use Yahoo! all the time without using it for “search”. Remember folks, Yahoo! was a human edited directory/portal and didn’t even play the search game until it partnered with Google in the late 1900′s to provide search results.

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  • http://bunsoimagazine.com Bunsoi

    I don’t think this is true.
    I think this is just a part of Bartz’s gameplan to pretend that Yahoo isn’t, afterall, after the search engine market industry. Because we all know this industry is largely dominated by Google.

    But with the merge of Yahoo and Microsoft, I think the two giant companies have other things in mind which includes preparing a well-planned project for Yahoo as a search engine so that the next time it’ll be launched as officially as such, it’ll slowly but surely gain search engine dominance from the market, and outweigh the Big Google.

    Good luck with that!

  • http://gadeyne-us.spaces.live.com/ Gadeyne

    “Yahoo never was a search company”
    That’s an interesting statement taking into account that it’s how Yahoo started, it’s how they positioned themselves all along (remember the commercial “do you yahoo?)and…. that’s the only thing they did well.
    Their pathetic attempts into social media, their buying online properties only to destroy most of them because they just are, well to be nice, not good at identifying their real value, building up on it and developing them.
    Their attempts at building social networking properties like 360 only to walk away from them and let them self destroy for a lack of support
    My question is, Yahoo if you were not a search company, what were you, and the bigger question… what are you now that you lost the only thing you say you were not, only thing you were doing well.

  • http://www.marypauline.com Mary

    Well this is some news!!
    I have always viewed Yahoo as a Search Engine and #2 actually. Now this statement from C. Bartz clears things up. We all being dupped then. Seriously I do alll my search with Google. I beraely advertise at Yahoo. I tried it though, but nothing good came out of it, just empty pockets. The only thing that takes me to Yahoo is look for movies showtime and my email I seldom check just once every month or so. Welcome Bing and please wear the #2 jersey.

  • Kevin

    To echo the comments from another poster who mentioned the Decker/Yang call, I’d like to point out the not one but THREE acquisitions of search engines in ’04.

    WHAT THE FSCK are you saying that you’re not a search engine if you bought not one but three of them? C’mon. This just goes to show she is just another spinmeister incapable of running this company.

    From: http://www.pandia.com/sw-2004/08-yahoo.html

    (March 1 2004) Last year Yahoo! acquired no less than three fully functional search engines: Inktomi and — via Overture — AltaVista and AlltheWeb.

    Yahoo! did need a search engine. Yahoo! had found that searchers preferred regular search engine results to hand picked directory listings. Regular search results at the Yahoo! site was therefore delivered by Google. As a long term strategy it does not make sense to rely on your main competitor in this way.

    Yahoo! clearly needed an alternative, and bought the three search engines. However, as Pandia pointed out at the time, it would make no sense for Yahoo! to keep three different development teams developing three different search engines….

  • Guest

    That’s what you get when u place a crack smoking moron in charge….

    Many people stopped using yahoos search because of all the crap yahoo placed on the homepage., specially the annoying full page over browser flash ads.,

    then after losing Half it’s search users it created a textbox only search page like googles but you had to use a different URL

    I now use yahoo’s homepage when I am at work and am bored off my ass… So if that’s what the true goal is then that’s great for bartz

  • http://www.zygella.com Zygella

    Yahoo is the second most used search engine on the internet so why such a statement?

  • http://www.controldatainc.com Agency collection

    Interesting statement are you sure it wasnt taken out of context?

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security.com

    I use Yahoo Search to drive traffic to my safety and security web site and just paid $300 to be in the Yahoo Directory so it is a bit confusing for her to say they’re not about “search.” There has to be more to it.

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