What a rough year it's been for anal retentive geeks who like the Internet just the way is, thank you very much. Still flabbergasted over Ikea's decision to switch its font from a customized version of Futura to Verdana, members of the Defenders of Things That Don't Matter organization (which doesn't really exist, but should) found themselves reeling once again, this time over Yahoo branding Flickr so that it reads "Flicker from Yahoo!"
How could Yahoo be so callous to the dozens, maybe even hundreds of Internet users who would predictably be taken aback by the insignificant change? According to company CEO Carol Bartz, techy hipsters and "middle America Yahoo" just don't go hand-in-hand.
"When you get outside New York and Silicon Valley, everyone loves Yahoo," Bartz said to a roomful of journalists and bloggers a few days ago at the unveiling of Yahoo's $100 million marketing campaign 'It's Y!ou.' "I just want to transplant all of you guys out of your cynicism. What is wrong with you guys? Go be cynical about frickin' Google. You got me pissed off."
Some Flickr users are pissed off too. As one commenter in Flickr's forums put it, "it really does feel like Yahoo is kidnapping the once awesome Flickr name by forcing itself on the logo." Others have called the logo change "stale" and "very ugly." Makes you wonder how Flickr user shhexycorin could possibly be "indifferent" when so many others are obviously perturbed.
In what some might see as an irrelevant move in the search genre, Yahoo upgraded its search capabilities and deployed them to most of the world. They announced today on the Yahoo Search blog a slew of new features and a slick new layout for their search engine.
One key feature of the upgrade lives in the additional left column where “intelligent search results” help you to explore other relevant sites and drill-down your result set based on popular keywords. Yahoo implemented “SearchScan,” which helps protect from viruses, malware and spam. They also boasted that they have increased response and search times all over the site. You can find a full listing in detail of the upgrade deployment on the Yahoo search blog.
This might be too little too late as the justice department is inspecting an agreement to shift most Yahoo search efforts over to Microsoft. The upgrades bear striking resemblance to Bing’s results pages, perhaps this is a transitional effort.
How relevant do you think Yahoo is in the internet search industry? What do you think of Yahoo’s improvements?
Your ex-girlfriend might have assured you just before breaking up that, 'Hey, it's not you, it's me,' but get ready to hear just the opposite from Yahoo, who wants nothing more than the two of you to be together forever.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo's upcoming "massive global marketing campaign" includes a new tagline: "It's You!" Yahoo had no comment on the new slogan, but according to inside peeps who can't keep a secret, the ads are very real and being created by Ogilvy & Mather, a unit of Dublin-based WPP.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz reportedly disclosed the ad campaign to investors earlier this summer.
"We're really going to move to reposition the Yahoo brand and Yahoo the company," Bartz said at the time.
Part of that repositioning includes focusing on personalization and educating the public on ways Yahoo can help people utilize all its services and information online. Yahoo is also expected to introduce new tools, inside sources say.
The campaign could kick off as early as this week.
If you’re a social networking news junky, you’ve likely been getting a kick out the ongoing battle between Facebook and Twitter. The two competing companies have been scrapping away for months now, but Facebook’s vice president of growth Chamath Palihapitiya is ready to call the war in favor Facebook claiming, “Twitter is in the rear-view mirror”. “To focus on a company with 40 million users that is not growing is not a good idea,” he said, citing Hitwise market share data as evidence of Twitter’s slowdown.
Based on the interview it appears Facebook still has a lot of respect for what Twitter has accomplished (imitation is the highest form of flattery after all), but clearly feels Google is the bigger competitor going forward. “Our task it to make sure we innovate and to make sure there’s no new upstart experience that could take users away.” If going after Google sounds like an unrealistic target, it’s worth noting that Facebook currently has over 300 million registered users, followed up by Yahoo at 600 million, and Google at a whopping 900 million.
Palihapitiya claims the future of Facebook lies in redefining the way people surf the web. He claims rather than simply turning to Google to find content, users will consume information largely based upon recommendations from friends. Can you see yourself setting Facebook to your homepage?
The search giant may feel able to snatch skittish talent from Yahoo as the Microsoft deal closes. Microsoft has agreed to take on 400 Yahoo employees, but no assurances have been made beyond that. Given the uncertainty, many may be willing to jump ship for Google.
Ask.com has also been going after these employees. At a recent expo, Ask called out Yahoo employees with a banner reading, “My company just gave up on search. Where do I work now?”
The U.S. Justice department is taking a closer look at the proposed internet-search partnership between Yahoo and Microsoft. As a part of this contract, Yahoo would use Bing’s search engine, across its websites. Yahoo will sell ads to appear next to search results and the two companies will be splitting the revenue. The Justice department has asked for more details about the agreement from both parties so they might be able scrutinize all aspects of the deal.
Microsoft and Yahoo both expected a lengthy inspection regarding the antitrust laws in place. If/when the agreement passes inspection it could change the landscape of online ad-sales where Google has been the top contender tripling the U.S. sales of its competitors. There is a chance that the Justice department may question whether the move is necessary for a competitive market in online ad sales and alter the arrangement.
So what does all of that mean to the average internet user? The answer: not a whole lot. Search and text based ads are nothing revolutionary and the long term future of Yahoo search could be considered irrelevant compared to those of Google and Microsoft’s.
Earlier this week Yahoo announced that it would be tweaking its mail and messenger services to be more social by letting users update their status, share photos easily and partake in video calls.
Along with the new and improved mail and messenger programs, Yahoo plans to overhaul its search engine with a new results page that will let users retrieve the content they’re looking for, without leaving the safety of the results page.
The idea behind these upgrades comes in two flavors: firstly Yahoo hopes to bring in more people who are not already familiar with the inner workings of their products, as well as to entice those that are already using Yahoo products to spend more time on their site. “Our user base grows when things are simpler and more delightful,” said Elisa Steele, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Yahoo.
There was also an acknowledgement that Yahoo’s new hope page was being worked on, but wasn’t done just yet.
Food and beverage manufacturers have for long employed blind taste tests as a marketing gimmick. A Microsoft employee, Michael Kordahi, appears to have taken a leaf out of their marketing handbook. He has developed a website called Blind Search that lets the user query three different search engines simultaneously.
It presents the search results from the three search engines in as many unmarked columns. The user has to vote for the search engine that “best matches your search query.” The choice is between Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Google is the most popular browser with 41% votes, according to the data Kordahi has compiled hitherto. Bing is currently placed second with 31%, with Yahoo enduring the ignominy of the last spot with 28%. Given that Microsoft and Yahoo have inked a search engine partnership, it is interesting to note that the majority of the visitors actually dislike Google. Kordahi asserts that Blind Search is his personal initiative, independent from Microsoft’s influence.
The saga that began with Microsoft’s failed attempt to acquire Yahoo has finally culminated in a unique partnership, which puts Microsoft in charge of Yahoo’s search engine business and hands over the reigns of Microsoft’s online ads business to Yahoo. However, the 10-year deal will not have any impact on the two companies’ respective display ads businesses. The partnership is expected to triple Bing’s U.S. market share to 28%.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is currently on cloud nine. "This is what I have basically been saying for the past 18 months: The world will be better served for consumers, advertisers and publishers, and there will be more competition for Google, if we can somehow figure out how to get Microsoft and Yahoo together in search,” he said in an interview.
It won’t be easy to figure out an effective way to merge Bing and Yahoo! Search into a single search solution. The two companies expect the deal to be fully implemented in the next 24 months. Though Yahoo hasn’t been promised any money upfront, it expects its annual operating profit to swell by $500 million due to this arrangement, as it won’t have to spend much on improving its search technology.
Yahoo is expected to announce a deal this week that would make Microsoft's Bing its search provider, says Advertising Age (AdAge.com). If true, the deal would put Bing on more solid footing to compete with Google and rake in some additional ad revenue.
Earlier reports suggested that talks between Yahoo and Microsoft broke down after Yahoo asked for upwards of several hundred million dollars to make Bing its search provider, along with revenue guarantees that would have guaranteed billions over the course of the deal. But according to AdAge.com, talks resumed last Thursday and the two continue to hash out a deal that will be based on a revenue share rather than a lump sum payment.
Both sides stand to benefit from the potential agreement. While the upside for Microsoft is obvious, Tim Cadogan, CEO of ad-serving firm OpenX and former senior-VP of global advertising for Yahoo pointed out, "As Bing grows, the first place Bing takes share from is not Google but the other guys. So Yahoo is going to lose share unless they have something radical planned."