Posts Tagged ‘Yahoo’
Foundering search giant Yahoo is said to be looking to offload its “Hot Jobs” employment listing service for “the right price” in the wake of declining search performance and a pending deal with Microsoft to have that company’s Bing search engine take over search functions on Yahoo’s still-popular internet portal.
Reuters reports that company insiders say that Hot Jobs – in addition to Yahoo’s Small Business unit – was on the block for a hoped-for fee of anywhere between $350 million and $500 million.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz, speaking at an investor’s conference earlier this week, joked that Yahoo owed a great debt to Tiger Woods for the revelations about the golfer’s personal life that spiked search traffic across the internet. She also confirmed that Hot Jobs was not central to the company’s strategic vision moving forward and could be sold.
Bartz also blamed the company’s declining search numbers – and consequent diminution of relevance to the search engine optimization (SEO) market – on the failure of toolbar deals with HP and Acer that would have seen Yahoo toolbars pre-installed on PCs manufactured by those companies.
In an announcement making some waves in the SEO world last week, Yahoo announced that they would be ending their paid inclusion program. SearchEngineLand.com points out access to Yahoo’s paid inclusion sales page has been redirected to their advertising.yahoo.com.
“Both the “Search Submit Basic” program that charged an annual fee per URL and the “Search Submit Pro” cost-per-click program will end as of Dec. 31, 2009.”
Yahoo’s paid inclusion has faced some criticism from those who believe including paid ads in an organic search makes the results biased. At the press conference announcing the Yahoo/Microsoft deal in July the company said “we’ll decide on that later”. Well it looks like they decided.
This may turn out to be a good thing for PPC on Yahoo. With paid inclusion gone advertisers will be looking for that same traffic and those ad dollars could shift to PPC. Any kind of uptick in PPC would be a benefit to domain owners parking with Yahoo. We’ll see.
Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) on Monday launched an enhancement to Bing that allows users of the search engine to find certain items by viewing images instead of sifting through pages of text-based Internet links.
For instance, a search on HDTVs yields rows of images of flat-panel televisions. The results can be grouped by manufacturer, display technology, screen size, and resolution. Similarly, a query on new cars renders pictures of various models that are sortable by automaker, mileage, price, and vehicle type.
At present, Bing’s visual search engine is in the beta stage and is limited to several search categories predetermined by Microsoft. But company officials believe the technology has big potential and could help Microsoft close the gap with market leader Google.
“It’s clear that images play a big part in helping consumers with a variety of search activities,” said Bing product manager Todd Schwartz, in a blog post Monday. A study by Microsoft found that consumers can process image results 20% faster than text-only search results, according to Schwartz.
“Visual search is a new way to formulate and refine your search queries through imagery, particularly for sets of results that tend to be more structured,” wrote Schwartz. “What you’ll see is an amazing new visual search experience,” said Schwartz.
Bing’s visual search capability, which is powered by Microsoft’s Silverlight Web display technology, is the latest sign that Redmond is pulling out all the stops in its effort to catch Google. The company in July announced a far-reaching deal with Yahoo under which Bing will become the primary search engine on Yahoo’s Web properties while Microsoft gains the right to add search technology previously developed by Yahoo to Bing.
Still, Microsoft has, to put it mildly, its work cut out. Google holds about 83% of the worldwide search market, according to the most recent numbers from market watcher Net Applications. Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) holds 7%, while Microsoft, mostly through Bing, owns a mere 3.5%.
Microsoft isn’t giving up. In his blog, Schwartz said the software maker will roll out more new Bing features—including additional visual search capabilities–in the coming months.
A Microsoft and Yahoo search deal, announced in July, will face an in-depth antitrust review from the U.S. Department of Justice, Microsoft has confirmed.
The DOJ requested additional information about the deal earlier this week, Microsoft spokesman Jack Evans said. Microsoft expected the DOJ to look into the agreement and conduct a “thorough review,” he added.
“When we announced the agreement, we said we were hopeful it would close by early next year,” Evans said.
A DOJ spokeswoman said she couldn’t comment on the Microsoft/Yahoo deal.
Under the deal, Microsoft’s Bing search engine will power Yahoo’s search site, and Yahoo will sell premium search advertising services for both companies.
The agreement took nearly a year and a half to work out and started with an unsolicited bid by Microsoft to buy Yahoo in February 2008. The goal of the deal is to allow Microsoft and Yahoo to provide more search competition to market-leader Google. As of June, Google had a search market share of over 70 percent in the U.S.
Under the 10-year agreement, Microsoft will have an exclusive license to Yahoo’s core search technologies as well as the ability to integrate them into Bing.
Microsoft revamped and relaunched its search engine about two months before the deal was announced.
In November 2008, Google called off a search advertising deal with Yahoo after the company was told the DOJ would oppose the deal.
The Microsoft and Yahoo deal must clear regulatory approval in both the U.S. and Europe. It’s still unclear whether the European Union will undertake a formal review, Evans said.
A new report on consumer satisfaction with search engines and Internet portals says we like them more they now than this time last year. Of the major engines, only last-place AOL improved its score. The big winner? “All others.”
The American Consumer Satisfaction Index compares customer satisfaction among and across a number of companies and e-business and other sectors. It was released earlier today.
In the quarterly rankings, conducted since 2000, all the major search engines/portals have improved their scores over time, with only Ask.com and AOL now below their highest historic rankings.
Overall, Google leads the pack, with an 86 percent satisfaction rating, the same as last year. Ranked number 2 is “all others” with 78 percent, up 2.6 percent from a year ago. AOL improved by 1.4 percent to a 70 percent satisfaction rating. (See chart for details).
The survey was conducted before the announcement of Microsoft’s Bing search engine as well as the deal that replaces Yahoo search with Bing.
Among the industries surveyed, Internet Portals & Search Engines did quite well, with an overall 83 percent satisfaction rate, up 3.8 percent from last year, based on the strong showing by “all others” and the 1.4 percent improvement by AOL.
Internet News and Information ranked 71.5 percent overall satisfaction. Only USA Today showed improvement, up 1.4 percent to 74 precent. The category leader was “all others” at 75 percent. That left the New York Times, MSNBC, and ABCNews sites all showing significant decreases in consumer satisfaction over the past 12 months.
Comparing tech to other industries: Automobiles received an 84 percent satisfaction rating; Electronics (TV/DVD/VCR) 83 percent; and Major Appliances, 81 percent.
Yahoo! Inc., which is building a regional data center in Lockport, has formed an Internet search partnership with Microsoft Corp. that Yahoo says will lift its annual operating income by about $500 million.
In the long-awaited 10-year deal announced on Wednesday, Microsoft will power Yahoo’s search tool while Yahoo will become the exclusive sales force for both firms’ premium search advertisers.
Under the agreement, Microsoft will license Yahoo’s core search technologies and Microsoft’s Bing will become the exclusive algorithmic search and paid search platform for Yahoo sites.
In addition to increasing its annual operating income, Yahoo said the deal will provide it with $200 million in capital expenditure savings and an annual operating cash flow benefit of $275 million.
In June, Yahoo announced a decision to locate its Northeast data center on a 30-acre site in the Lockport Industrial Park near the Delphi Thermal Systems complex.
The new operation, which includes a 190,000-square-foot structure, could initially employ 125 people, the company said.
It’s unclear whether they brought the requested “boatloads of money,” but several top Microsoft executives are in Silicon Valley to try to finalize a search deal with Yahoo, according to an All Things Digital report late on Thursday.
According to the report, the two sides are “down to the short strokes” after years of excruciatingly well publicized on-again, off-again talks. A deal could come within a week, All Things Digital said.
Included in the Microsoft entourage, according to the report, are three of its top online executives: Yusuf Mehdi, Satya Nadella, and Qi Lu.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said in May that she was open to a search deal if she believed in the partner’s technology and they provided said boatloads of money. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has indicated for more than a year now that he would like to strike some sort of search deal, although he no longer wants to acquire all of Yahoo as the company offered to do in February 2008.
With Microsoft’s Bing getting some good reviews and Microsoft having billions in cash on hand, the ingredients would seem to be in place, if both sides have the will to make it happen.
New stats from monitoring service StatCounter suggest that for the second time since its launch, Microsoft’s Bing has surpassed Yahoo Search as the second most used search engine in the United States. Shortly after publicly debuting the new service, Bing already jumped over Yahoo Search – if only for one day – which many attributed to the launch momentum. But Bing has proven to be a very solid product that many seem keen to try out even after a month.
According to the new data, Bing took 12.9% of the US market like comScore had earlier measured. With the strong jump, Bing comes out ahead of Yahoo Search (10.15%), while Mountain View remains the undisputed king of the mountain with a US market share of 75%.
StatCounter CEO Aodhan Cullen comments on the leapfrogging of Yahoo Search by Bing, saying: “The jump in Bing?s share may reflect a positive review of the search engine compared to Google which appeared online in the New York Times on the 8th and in the print version on the 9th July.” I’m not really sure if that is in fact the reason and if this isn’t just the service’s regular growth path. After all, Microsoft has shown a remarkable drive to keep the momentum for its decision engine going, recently adding Twitter messages to search results and bringing the search platform to its Hotmail service. Surely one newspaper article can’t be the only reason for its steady rise in share?
In any event, while Google shouldn’t be particularly worried about losing its dominance on the search market yet, the other players in the field better be watching Bing’s progress very closely. Microsoft is doing it right, and users are noticing, too.
Microsoft’s new Bing search engine has eked out a slight gain in market share, according to statistics released Wednesday, but it has a long way to go before it catches up with industry leader Google.
Microsoft had 8.23 percent market share in June ” the first month its Bing online search engine was available, according to StatCounter Global Stats, a Web site traffic analysis firm. That put Bing not far behind Yahoo’s 11.04 percent market share but far behind Google’s 78.48 percent.
Microsoft, which is trying to grow its online services business against Google, had a 7.21 percent share of the search market in April with its MSN Search and Live Search properties, according to StatCounter. Google’s market share in April was 79.07 percent ” meaning its share dropped slightly between April and June.
“At first sight, a 1 percent increase in market share does not appear to be a huge return on the investment Microsoft has made in Bing, but the underlying trend appears positive,” said Aodhan Cullen, StatCounter’s CEO, in a statement. “Steady if not spectacular might be the best way to describe performance to date.”
Microsoft, for example, has been running a series of television advertisements that show zombielike people spouting nonsensical facts and data as a result of search overload ” an effort to portray Bing as providing Web surfers with more of the information they are looking for.
Initially the market share of all Microsoft’s search properties (Bing, Live Search and MSN Search combined) increased to 9.21 percent right after Bing debuted June 1, dropped back the next two weeks, then grew to 8.45 percent during the period of June 22 to 28, leading to the overall 8.23 percent market share for the month, according to Dublin, Ireland-based StatCounter.
The market-share numbers are based on an analysis of 1.3 billion search engine referring clicks worldwide (336 million from the U.S.) collected from StatCounter’s network of 3 million Web sites.