Yahoo Cedes Victory to Google?

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Has Yahoo ceded victory to Google? Yahoo! is saying that search is history and is planning to fight other battles. Yahoo! believes personalization is the future of the web and is more important than search. In the meantime, they’ve opened up their Panama ad platform by launching a commercial Search Marketing API program, which might be a little late.

Yahoo giving up is a huge disappointment – to me anyway. Is this utter nonsense? Search will always be important on the web. How we do it, however, will have to improve. Twelve years after being a search engine webmaster, I find search still lacking. To me, relevance will be most important, but since that changes by user, maybe Yahoo’s focus on personalization is a smart move. So if that’s true, why have at least three Yahoo executives left the company?

But I’m always against (virtual) monopolies, so my fingers are crossed that Google will have a competitor soon – or we’ll have to live with the FOG (fear of Google). On that note, Microsoft is reputedly building a new top-secret horizontal stealth search engine using a Silicon Valley team of at least twenty developers.

My question is why? Is their existing engine beyond repair? More importantly, will they come up with something worthwhile?

UPDATE [Tue Jun 05/07]: Kathryn Kelly of Yahoo! sent Loren Baker an email msg, and he passed it on to me. I’m happy to say that Yahoo! has not given up on search. Here’s what Kathryn had to say:

…we are absolutely not ceding victory to Google and we are 100% committed to search. The UK reporter was overzealous in his story and we have created a statement we’re sharing with media to clarify:

“Web Search is a top priority for Yahoo! and we are committed to developing and investing in new technologies that will shape the future of search. We believe personalization tools complement our efforts in search and will play an important role in delivering the most relevant information to help consumers get a more complete answer and connect them to their passions, their communities and the world’s knowledge.”

Best, Kathryn

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