Yahoo Yields Search Game To Google

    January 24, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

Yahoo has admitted to something thousands of search engine users already know: it’s not going to beat Google at search dominance. Game. Set. Match. Google. The best way to read the Bloomberg report on Yahoo’s fall from the search game would be with a glass of champagne and a dish of strawberries and cream, Wimbledon style.

Yahoo Yields Search Game To Google
Yahoo Yields Search Game To Google

Unfortunately for Yahoo and the search world, Google has been playing the role of Roger Federer, and been just as dominant. Yahoo’s CFO Susan Decker told Bloomberg in an interview that the Sunnyvale-based company would be retiring from the match:

"We don’t think it’s reasonable to assume we’re going to gain a lot of share from Google….It’s not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share."

Yahoo holds about 24 percent of the US search market share, well behind Google but solidly ahead of Microsoft, AOL, and Ask Jeeves. Search expert Danny Sullivan disagreed with Decker’s comments on settling for second place:

"It kind of makes you wonder about how serious they are about search," said Danny Sullivan, editor of London-based, which tracks the search industry. "It really ought to be their goal" to be No. 1, he said. "Whether it’s realistic or not."

Instead of frantically trying to catch up to Google or just erode some of its market share, Yahoo will work on improving its contextual advertising relevance instead. During Yahoo’s earnings announcement, Decker alluded to a gradual rollout of improvements to its Overture advertising system throughout 2006.

Ad relevance rather than search itself appears to be the focus of newly minted research labs in Spain and Chile, then. Yahoo just announced it would open those labs, and has added several notable search scientists to Yahoo Research in recent months.