Rumors that Microsoft and Yahoo were back at the negotiation table have been floating around since April, but nobody held out much hope that a deal would ever be reached. After enduring nearly a year of roller coaster negotiations, even we started to lose interest in the back and forth chest thumping between the two tech giants.
When the acquisition deal fell through last November Microsoft stockholders let out a collective sigh of relief, while Yahoo shareholders watched their fortunes fade rather quickly. Now that the reality of the situation has finally sunk in, it would seem even Carl Icahn is eager to make a deal with Microsoft. This time however, only the search engine is on the table. "I've been a strong advocate of getting a search deal done with Microsoft," Icahn, who owns about 5 percent of Yahoo and sits on its board, told Reuters in a phone interview Friday. "It would enhance value if a deal got done, because of the synergies involved."
The deal is said to be “Down to the short Strokes” and According to a separate posting made by All Things Digital, several key Microsoft online executives are in Silicon Valley attempting to iron out the details. Microsoft is likely hoping the deal will allow them to tap into Yahoo’s lucrative search advertising network, but with all the recent success Bing has enjoyed recently, do you think they would phase out Yahoo search as a brand?
In what many within the company are calling a major push, Yahoo is looking to completely rebrand itself, and focus consumers on what defines the very being of Yahoo.
This new effort has come, thanks to the newly added Chief Marketing Officer Elisa Steele. The goal is to finally redo their front page, which has been delayed by new CEO Carol Bartz when she took over in January, and potentially rid themselves of the Purple motif. Primarily, they’re trying to turn Yahoo into a key hub for Internet users that are looking for news and other information.
No official word yet on what direction the rebranding will take, but for now they remain a company that bleeds purple.
Yahoo’s financial woes have not been hidden from anybody. The blighted internet giant is ready to do anything to raise funds. It does not even mind small amounts of cash dribbling into its famishing coffers. It has now stooped to abject levels associated with cybersquatters.
It isn’t a princely sum by any drug-induced stretch of imagination. A premium domain like that should have fetched in the millions of dollars. That actually explains Yahoo’s dismal state. Yahoo should trade premium domains for some business acumen and not greenbacks in the future. Wonder what Yahoo.com will fetch?
If a web 2.0 service goes offline in the middle of the night does it make a sound? Well, if your Yahoo quietly pulling the plug on your free web hosting service, you hope not! As sad as it may be for us nostalgic types, after more than a decade of hosting free community webpages, this once innovative and powerful brand will finally come to a close later this year.
The trademark of the GeoCities service was the neighborhood system which allowed users to assign their page to a specific community of like minded websites. They were also founded during a period when only a handful of developers were publishing content for the web. Neighborhoods such as “Hollywood” and “Silicon Valley” were abandoned shortly after Yahoo took control of the company in 1999. It was purchased at the peek of the dot com bubble for $3.57 billion dollars, and like many other web properties scooped up at this time, it wasn’t worth as much as they’d hoped.
Yahoo is also known for having made several unpopular changes to the service shortly after acquisition which some users blame for its slow downward spiral. One of these changes for example was a modification to the terms of service which allowed Yahoo to lay claim to any content hosted on its service. Many of these decisions were eventually reversed, but with the rapidly falling costs of web hosting, it was only a matter of time before it folded in. Yahoo has stopped accepting new applications, and existing users are being encouraged to upgrade to one of their paid web hosting packages.
Did you ever host a website on Geocities? Share your memories after the jump.
The pirate bay is taking on water at a frantic pace, and while an appeal in the trial is still likely, odds are pretty good that site may soon be brought down once and for all through a court injunction. Truth is though; the Pirate Bay brought this down on themselves. By picking up the torch that Napster and Kazaa dropped, they painted a huge bulls eye on their chest and blatantly taunted the movie and music industry by posting take down notices on the site, a sign of open defiance.
Though they may soon pay the price for these actions, it remains to be seen who the movie and music industry would consider to be “next on the list”. Tracker sites like Mininova, isoHunt, and Demonoid come to mind, but one searching tool rules them all, Google. Type any movie or TV show into Google followed by the word “torrent” and every tracking site, including many lesser known domains; spill their results for the world to see. In fact according to Google Trends, searches for the term “wolverine torrent” quadrupled after the movie was leaked onto peer-to-peer networks.
Google claims they are quick to remove offending content, but it’s a never ending battle. When one torrent link dies, dozens more take their place.
Can Google be held legally liable for this? It’s hard to say but with the Pirate Bay gone, we may soon find out! What do you think?
After Yahoo turned down Microsoft’s proposal to roll in the hay and have an offspring that could take on Google’s might in the online search market, it appeared the two would maintain a distance from each other. However, a luncheon meeting between Ballmer and Yahoo Chairman Roy Bostock earlier this year again revived hopes of a deal.
The New York Times reports that the two companies have returned to the negotiation table, though for a slightly different purpose. A source close to the discussions told the NYT that the two companies are discussing an advertising deal. The source revealed that Microsoft could assume control of Yahoo’s search ads and leave Yahoo in control of display ads under one arrangement being deliberated. Steve Ballmer is also said to have met with Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz last week. There is no official word on the matter as yet.
News spreads like wildfire on the internet. However, print publications and news agencies, which spend their precious human and financial resources on accumulation of news stories, are forgotten in this rapidity. Though many major websites do compensate news agencies, a lot of the websites don’t even bother with properly crediting them. The Associated Press has now adopted a more stringent approach towards unauthorized reproduction of its content.
Dean Singleton, the man who heads the news cooperative, delivered a stern warning to websites that unlawfully reproduce content owned by it. Singleton threatened intransigent offenders with legal action at the cooperative’s annual meeting in San Diego. You will have to make the jump to read Google's riposte.
Yahoo has announced that it is going to officially shut down its stodgy file hosting service Yahoo! Briefcase on March 30, 2009. The service debuted about a decade ago. Ordinary users were offered 30MB of free online storage space, whereas premium users had the option of purchasing additional space to fit their needs.
When you consider the complexity of modern day web pages, it’s actually a bit of a miracle that search engines work as well as they do. Dealing with duplicate links, especially off pages such as Amazon that may promote an individual product a thousand times or more has always been a challenge. Finally, after years of debate, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft are putting the past behind them to solve this age old issue. The solution is a simple tag that will be added to the standard link format called “canonical”.
The tag is designed to solve issues associated with multiple URL’s pointing to the same page, but may also be helpful when multiple versions of a page exist. Currently, the search engines employ a process that looks at the structure of URL’s to look for similarities. This generally works pretty well, but is far from perfect. It is considered to be somewhat rare for search engines to come together on any issue, but it isn’t unprecedented. In 2006 they joined forces to put unanimous support behind sitemaps.org, and in June of 2008 they jointly announced new standards for the robots.txt directive. Matt Cutts of Google and Nathan Buggia of Microsoft claim this new approach should help reduce the clutter on the web, and improve the accuracy of all search engines.
Even though these tags won’t completely solve all the duplicate problems found on the web, it should significantly enhance the indexing performance of search engines, particularly on e-commerce sites. The new tags will be discussed in depth at this year’s Ask the Search Engines panel at SMX West.
Steve Ballmer’s luncheon meeting with Yahoo’s chairman Roy Bostock is being seen as a straw in the wind of a possible deal between the companies they serve. The possibility of such a deal has been ostensibly revived with last week’s meeting and the appointment of a new CEO over at Yahoo. But it might not be a great thing for Microsoft, after all.
Microsoft should concentrate on its core business of software, rather then treading Google’s domain – online search advertising, according to Slate’s Farhad Manjoo. In fact, he goes as far as saying that Microsoft should not even be in online advertising being a software company.
He points out that Microsoft’s core business has been ignored for a while and cites Vista and Windows Mobile as emblems of that ignorance. Manjoo finally has some M&A advice for Microsoft: buy Palm for just $1 billion or $2 billion instead of Yahoo - and its plethora of problems - for tens of billions.
Palm’s upcoming Pre is being tipped as the iPhone killer - that everyone is so desperately dying to encounter. Its interface does not appear to be a mere reinvention of the iPhone wheel, and may just be at the vanguard of mobile phone technology. On the other hand, Windows Mobile is a touch quaint compared to other mobile operating systems. So you can see why Microsoft’s unofficial M&A advisor believes that Palm may prove to be a better buy than Yahoo.