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The UnGoogle - Wired Talks To Terry Semel

Nick Wilson
Expert Author
Published: 2005-03-01

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Terry Semel, Yahoo's Chairman and CEO has been whispering sweet nothings in Wired's ear about Yahoo's strategy and where it differs to Google.

As Battelle said: "The only thing that can kill Google, is Google" but i think you'll find some of the facts and figures in this piece somewhat of an eye opener. Yahoo celebrates it's 10th birthday tomorrow, and looks to be stronger than ever, if quiet as usual.

The article starts out talking about Google hype, which leads into this:

"Still, the adulation must rankle the folks at a certain company just down the road in Silicon Valley - another search engine founded by two precocious Stanford grads with a cute name, colorful logo, and simple homepage. The indignity is all the greater when you consider Yahoo!'s numbers: 165 million registered users, 345 million unique visitors a month, $49 billion market cap, and a 62 per­cent increase in revenue last quarter, bringing 2004 total revenue to $3.6 billion. Yahoo! makes more money and has more patents, services, and users than Google; it even has its own yodel. Given its recent blowout financial results and the expected continued explosion of online advertising, Yahoo! may very well be the most valuable business on the Web. And yet, as Jerry Yang and David Filo's startup celebrates its 10th anniversary March 2, Yahoo! is the biggest consumer Internet company you may almost never think about."

The killer quote for me was this though:

"Google defines itself by its technology. Brin and Page wake up every morning thinking about how a new algorithm or another rack of servers can be put to use to solve a particular problem. But Yahoo! isn't out to save the world. "I wake up every morning thinking about what our customers want," Semel says. Google invents for markets that don't exist; Yahoo! goes after markets it wants to own. If that means a state-of-the-art search engine, so be it. More often it'll mean a new discussion group about Brad Pitt's happy trail or an expanded section dedicated to Chinese astrology. In short, while Google was busy becoming what Yahoo! used to be, Yahoo! has become what AOL should have been."

Interesting stuff on two very different approaches to business, media and Search.

Link: The UnGoogle (Yes, Yahoo!)

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About the Author:
Nick Wilson is the publisher and founder of Threadwatch.org.

Threadwatch is a group blog, or forum if you prefer, focusing on Marketing and Related Technologies - News and discussion for those that make their living on the WWW - Register here to participate.

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