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Yahoo's New Search Plans: Out Bing Bing

By - September 02, 2009

Yesterday I got a chance to debrief with two leaders of Yahoo’s search team (yes, I know how that sounds given the Bing deal, but bear with me here). Late last week Yahoo announced its intentions with regard to continuing its innovation in search, and I had noted the irony of such an announcement.

I think most of the industry has written off Yahoo as a search player, and for some good reason. It’s true the company has abandoned two key pieces of the search puzzle – indexing and search monetization. But it’s also true, as I noted in my coverage of the deal, that Yahoo is retaining its right to control the user interface to search, and it’s clear that’s what the company is now focusing on.

What I find fascinating about this is how clearly it positions Yahoo to compete, directly, with its partner Microsoft and Bing. More on this later today.

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8 thoughts on “Yahoo's New Search Plans: Out Bing Bing

  1. I don’t believe Yahoo! can compete in search by refusing to admit it’s a search company and then substituting an interface for an algorithm.

    They downplayed their most significant algorithmic innovation in last week’s rollout — they actually did introduce a feature that neither Google nor Microsoft currently offers (auto-adjusting relevance in search results — that’s pretty amazing).

    The incredible blunders coming out of Yahoo! leadership these days have become mindnumblingly frequent, in my opinion.

  2. Bertil says:

    I love how they provide me with examples of increasing modularity on-line: search is three steps (collecting, structuring and presenting relevant info) and they are increasingly proving to belong in different categories. Yahoo! has never been good at integrating the three and, as such, isn’t a search company. They have been good at one of the step at a time, and they know that #1 and #2 are respectively a natural monopoly and a Stackelberg duopoly: rather then flee, they outsourced it to the cheapest bidder, to be the third player in #3 that might take three or four sustainable players.

  3. says:

    “So I just astounds me how you so spectacularly misunderstand the Yahoo-Microsoft search deal. I don’t get it, do you bother to read past the headlines of the news or is it just the pictures were not pretty enough?”

    Here is the Microsoft-Yahoo! search deal in a nut shell: Microsoft will power Yahoo! search for ten years, hiring all or most of Yahoo!’s search engineers during that time frame.

    At the end of 10 years Microsoft can walk away with Yahoo!’s search technology, technicians, and so-called “search market share”.

    Consumers lose 1 of 3 leading search algorithms.

    Merchants can expect to pay more for advertising on Yahoo! and Microsoft’s advertising network(s).

    Did I miss anything?

    Oh yes — most people who have looked at the deal have concluded that Yahoo! no longer wants to be part of the search industry. has a search engine that handles 10s of millions of queries every month — more than, probably. But their site search tool isn’t measured in “search market share” (they also don’t carry ads).

    I can see how Steve Ballmer wins because he finally eliminates a competitor from the search industry.

    How do the rest of us win?

    I as an SEO would prefer to have three search algorithms to work with.

    I as a searcher would prefer to have three search algorithms to work with.

    I as an advertiser would prefer not to see my advertising costs go up.

    I clearly don’t feel like a winner in this deal. Why should you or anyone else but Microsoft feel that way?

  4., are you trying to make a point by copying comments from the Yahoo! blog?

  5. Paramendra says:

    Search is early stage. Good to see several players in the game.

  6. diesel jeans says:

    Nice work guys!
    this is just Amazing!

  7. I do not through refusing Yahoo can admit it is that one searches the company then replaces algorithms and competes in the course of searching with a piece of interface through refusing.

  8. Great works.This is very nice.