While websites continue to look for ways to increase online ad revenue, analysts are cautioning that advertisers are starting to cut back their budgets. According to a research note by analyst Jeff Lindsay of Sandford C. Bernstein & Co., the advertising industry is only expected to grow 11 percent in the U.S. in 2009 and 9 percent worldwide, down from a previous estimate of 13 percent. But even 11 percent seems overly optimistic to Jim Friedland of Cowen & Co., who downgraded his previous forecast of 13 percent to only 3 percent.
While Friedland's outlook is particularly bleak, he notes a decline in online display advertising, a trend which he sees continuing as ad budgets are tightened. Yahoo has already witnessed the decline first hand and last month reported a 64 percent drop in net income for the third quarter, which Jerry Yang mostly attributed to a weakening online ad market.
One entity that looks poised to weather the storm is Google, a major player in paid-search ads, which Friedland predicts will grow in the low double digits.
Yahoo co-founder and chief executive Jerry Yang has spent the better portion of 2008 staving off a takeover attempt by Microsoft that threatened to go hostile, a decision that hasn't always been a popular one with Yahoo shareholders. Nor has it sat well with the 10 percent of employees facing a job cut by the end of the year. Now, just 18 months after stepping into the role of CEO, Yang has announced his pending resignation and will return to his role as Chief Yahoo once a successor is in place.
"All of you know that I have always, and will always, bleed purple," Yang wrote in letter to all Yahoo employees. "I will always do what I think is right for this great company. While this step will be an adjustment for all of us, I know it’s the right one. I look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything I can to make Yahoo! fulfill its full potential."
No front runner for the position of CEO has yet emerged, but Yang did say the board will consider both internal and external candidates. Hired to help in the search is international executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, with the overall effort being led by Roy Bostock, Yahoo's chairman of the board.
Does this change anything in terms of a takeover? Hit the jump and give us your prediction on where Yahoo goes from here.
Ever heard the expression,” if you can’t beat them, join them”? It turns out this is an attitude shared by the executives over at Sensis, the advertising and directories arm of Australia’s largest telecommunications company Telstra. Starting in Q1 2009, all of the Sensis business listings will be incorporated into Google’s mapping service. Google will then be implemented to power the native search and mapping functionality on the site. Sensis’s decision has been widely criticized as an admission that could not compete with Google, but I would argue it’s nothing to be ashamed of. Many larger and deeper pocketed rivals have attempted to duplicate Google’s success over the years with arguably little to no lasting success. Yahoo and Live search aside anyone else remember Cuil?
The announcement was made at Google’s headquarters and Sensis CEO Bruce Akhurst said the deal would allow them to focus on their yellow pages business listings. Both parties have openly denied that any talks are taking place with regards to a merger, and according to Sensis the deal is only intended as a means to share revenue. Neither party is revealing any specifics as to the terms or financial agreements, but presumably Sensis determined it was the best way to save market share. According to Nielsen NetRatings, Google Maps serves just over 2.5 million Australian visitors, with a mere 1.2 million using the Sensis Wherels service. Even more dramatic are the search numbers with 9.3 million Australians using Google, and only 184,000 users choosing Sensis.
Another search engine bites the dust, can anyone take on Google? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
We reported two weeks ago that the Yahoo-Google search advertising partnership was facing some serious challenges in its discussions with the Justice Department and, sure enough, it looks like the two search giants may decide to give up on the deal. The Wall Street Journal has reported that inside sources said that Google and Yahoo may soon announce their decision to drop the deal, after failing to reach an agreement with the Justice Department.
Nothing’s set in stone yet, though, and both companies official positions are still that negotiations are ongoing. Yahoo’s spokesman said “We believe strongly that this agreement will strengthen Yahoo’s competitive position in online advertising.” Google’s spokesman said in statement that “We are confident that the arrangement is beneficial to competition, but we are not going to discuss the details of the process.”
What will it mean for the oft-courted Yahoo if this deal falls through? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
Straight out of the “surprise!” file, Microsoft’s Live search engine is down in usage while Yahoo’s has finally gained some ground. Despite Microsoft’s offering serious perks to the members of Club Internet to use their search engine, they just weren’t able to come through in traffic, as claimed by researcher ComScore Inc.
According to ComScore, Yahoo’s portion of the Internet search engine pie has gone up from 19.6 percent to 20.2 percent. Unfortunately for Microsoft though, their percentage has dropped from an already low 8.9 percent down to 8.5 percent. Not surprisingly, Google took care of 62.9 percent of the searches made, and still has a very demanding lead.
At this rate Microsoft is going to have to cook up some pretty exciting perks to lure users back over to Live. (Try this one out: “Search for a date with Scarlett Johansson.” Thank me later.)
He once again reminded them that it has been a very challenging year for the company. After enumerating few of the things Yahoo is doing to survive in the “turbulent global advertising climate”, he came straight to job cuts.
Yang told all Yahoos that the company has no other choice but to slash jobs – in order to cut costs, as “compensation expenses are the single largest part of its costs.” He then apprised them of the heart-wrenching fact that 10% of them are going to loose their jobs by year-end.
Flickr's rolled out a new home page design that's intended to make it easier to see what's happening with your Flickr account and on Flickr in general.
Here's what's new:
The Your Photostream section now shows your five most recent uploads
Your Photostream also has a toggle to show recent activity (such as comments from friends, your replies, and pictures selected as favorites). Don't want any more comments on a particular item? Click its Mute button.
Click More Recent Activity to see other activity and change activity settings.
The Your Contacts section now shows more photos.
The Your Groups section now shows the most recent photos from your groups.
Want to reduce page clutter? Click the double arrow icon next to a section title to close it, or click it again to open it.
There's now a new Explore module on the home page that displays the latest activities.
The latest entry at the Flickr Blog and the latest Flickr Tip occupy the right margin of the page, along with more ways to use your photos.
Haven't logged in for awhile? I think you'll like the changes. Join us after the jump and let us know if you agree - or not.
It's been a tough year for Yahoo, and it's Yahoo's employees who have been hit the hardest. Earlier this year the struggling search company had cut about 10 percent of its workforce, and now it appears another sizable chunk will be receiving pink slips.
The exact number of the impending cuts has yet to be decided, but according to The Wall Street Journal, it will be more than the 1,000 jobs the company announced it was cutting in January. Yahoo is expected to announce just how many it will be letting go during its earnings conference call tomorrow.
Jobs aren't the only thing being slashed at Yahoo. As part of its downsizing effort, operating budgets across the board are expected to be cut 15 percent. Meanwhile, Yahoo's share price has dropped more than 40 percent over the past three months, meaning this could be just the beginning.
When it comes to search engine popularity, Yahoo must have gotten used to playing second fiddle to Google. However, things just got a little worse for the big Y, as YouTube received more search traffic in August than Yahoo, clinching the #1 and #2 spots for Google.
YouTube received 2.6 billion search queries on August, barely slipping past Yahoo’s 2.4 billion. Of course, both numbers pale in comparison to Google’s 7.6 billion searches. For the first time, if both of Google’s holdings’ searches are combined, it puts Google at more than 10 billion searches in a single month.
Yahoo’s perpetual suitor Microsoft, meanwhile, served up a combined 1.0 billion searches across all its sites.
Of course, the Yahoo and YouTube’s respective search engines perform largely different functions, making a direct comparison of the two a little futile, but the statistic does nicely illustrate the dominant position Google is establishing for itself in all different sectors of the Web.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer touched upon virtually all the major issues concerning MS – from Windows 7 to Yahoo - at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo in Orlando. Unsurprisingly, he was confronted by many questions regarding Vista and Windows 7.He ardently defended Windows Vista. “The adoption rate of Vista is two times faster than XP at two years in,” Ballmer said in Vista’s defense.
However, he tacitly gave the thumbs up to enterprises that have abandoned all plans of upgrading to Vista and are already waiting for Windows 7. Regarding the possibility of a deal with Yahoo, he said that a deal would make sense for the shareholders of both the companies. The price of Yahoo’s shares shot up by 17% after Ballmer’s comment.
Ballmer believes that Google Apps has “very primitive” capabilities. He further derided Google Apps by not even acknowledging it as serious competition.