Yahoo To Turn Away From Search?

    June 5, 2007

When a little kid loses, what does he do?  He cries, screams, and – hopefully those checkers won’t scratch the wall – he hates the game.  Now, I’m not accusing Yahoo of crying or screaming, but the company may not love search as much as it used to – one exec, Tapan Bhat, said, “Search is no longer the dominant paradigm.”

Yahoo To Turn Away From Search?
“Yahoo To Turn Away From Search?”
Yahoo To Turn Away From Search?

That statement can make a good headline, but the explanation behind it isn’t quite as attention-grabbing.  Bhat, you see, is Vice President of Front Doors, and the Times Online describes Front Doors as “Yahoo’s personalized home page.”

So as Bhat continued, saying, “The future of the web is about personalisation,” the VP may have just been promoting his project, rather than trashing the company’s main pursuit.  In fact, he stated, “Where search was dominant, now the web is about ‘me.’  It’s about weaving the web together in a way that is smart and personalised for the user,” so “personalized” search isn’t out of the question.

Still, those comments can be taken another way, as well.  According to Hitwise’s latest numbers, Google owns 65 percent of the U.S. search market, while Yahoo has claim to just 20 percent.  That certainly sounds like good reason to throw in the towel (or throw away a checkerboard).

But, for the time being, it looks as if we’ll have to stick to the first explanation.  When the Times Online asked Bhat to “clarify his comments,” the VP said, “We’re not admitting defeat.  Search still matters, but we need to be providing a wrapper around search to turn the info search offers up into something more useful.”