And thank goodness he is no longer the CEO of Yahoo! I remember the days when Yahoo! was young, new, and the hottest shit on the block. Remember when they spent all that money doing TV commercials where some guy in the end sings, “Yaahooooo!” But wait…Google didn’t spend anything and…well…yeah, enough said right?
What inspired me to write about this was well, this article that was sent around at work that I felt was rubbing salt into Yahoo’s open wounds and I loved it. If you don’t want to read the story, it’s about how South Korea’s LG will have mobile handsets that will allow users to capture and upload video to YouTube from their mobile handset. And then…I saw this on the side…
And my eyes lit up in glee because I find it incredibly hilarious — Yahoo HAD to do something regarding the iPhone and what do they do? They provide coverage on a device that takes advantage of their competitor’s products and services! Yeah it’s not the worst thing, but when you think about it, it could’ve been Yahoo that bought YouTube or rather, rumors were floating around that Semel was in talks to buy Google back in ’02 — I’m pretty sure he wish he had now.
What is actually more disappointing is that Semel was a former movie executive did he not see the potential or did he just lack the vision? I’ll go with the latter. Yeah, Yahoo still is somewhat of a portal, but wouldn’t you say it’s kind of cluttered and “in your face”? If you’re seriously going to search, don’t you just want to be greeted with a search box instead?Look at Google’s page, very simple, very to the point. Yahoo still reminds me of the Internet in the ’90s.
I actually enjoy that Google is eating away at Yahoo’s margins in online advertising. I love this line here: “Mountain View-based Google now makes more money in a single quarter than Yahoo does in an entire year.” I don’t know if detest would be the correct word, but didn’t think Panama was all that they made it out to be. I still couldn’t get the same types of reports from Google and instead of seeing numbers I saw swirly things as the Flash application was busy loading the data. Yeah, Panama was nice in that it showed you charts and was an improvement over the old archaic system, but Panama is in your face and intrusive. I still actually prefer AdWords’ interface, I want numbers, so give me numbers. Oh, and charts? Yeah they have that too, but if you want to see it.
I’ve actually stopped using Yahoo Search Marketing, why bother? Another innovation they failed out on…Site Targeting. I remember at my other job that “Site Targeting” had been referred to as Tier-2 (CPM) and my god was it the most horrible interface and experience in the world and provided you with ZERO flexibility in adjusting your marketing campaigns. Why? Because we were at the mercy of submitting I/Os to our account representative, who updated our campaign ~5 days later. Money wasted. Not only was it unfortunate that we were at the mercy of our account representative, but he was…unresponsive. A reply to an e-mail took about a week. His name was Kevin, I want to say he was in the LA office, but I think he was actually up North because we knew someone who worked at Yahoo and could switch us to a different account representative in LA. Oh yeah, he was fired. Yahoo did something right I guess.
I have not touched Yahoo Search Marketing since January. What’s the point? I’ll just use Google. (Ask actually seems really interesting too now, I’m more anxious to see how another Murdoch project will turn out.)
YouTube and the iPhone could have potentially been something Yahoo could’ve gotten done under Semel’s direction. They’re still struggling to keep up. Google has managed to expand their company into different markets. I’m quite excited to see Google’s implementation of WiFi in San Francisco. Why? Duh, the iPhone has WiFi. Google & Apple…they’re creating an interesting relationship, one that is partially media based. Again, as a former movie executive, didn’t he see the potential? Guess not. And maybe that’s because he has an old-school mentality along with the users of Yahoo.
And how the hell did Semel not 1) get terminated and 2) amass about half a billion dollars? Tsk tsk tsk, it’s unfortunate because in any other job, if you let the competition trounce all over you, well, you’d probably get fired instead of the half billion dollars. That is especially when you’re dealing with shareholders, don’t screw with their money! I’m not calling him a bad guy, I’m just shocked about how many times the ball has been dropped. That and he’s grossly grossly overpaid.
It’ll be interesting to see where Yahoo heads with Jerry Yang at the head of the helm. Maybe the company will be more focused more on the technical side of things.
I’m not a Google fanboy or anything, but using Google is really convenient, the recent Google-Sicko-health insurance thing has been interesting too and makes me…weary of people, Sullivan summed it up very well over at Search Engine Land. If anything, if Google is wants to stay true to their principles — indexing the entire web, well, all the negative information would still be available…or would it? And maybe Miss Lauren Turner did go about it the wrong way in well, blogging about it. Cute headline though. Shouldn’t she have e-mailed her clients with a disclaimer at the end? Hmm…
And maybe this is because of the digital age, but it’s so…interesting to see how it’s changed a company’s longevity. I mean, look at AOL — they used to be the #1 Internet Service Provider, where are they now? But ah, this is for another post another time.