Recode’s Kara Swisher says that the tech giant has ordered up two new search-related initiatives, codenamed Fast Break and Curveball. Details are still scant about the specifics of each project, but they will reportedly bring the company back to some of the nitty-gritty of taking queries — algorithmic search and search advertising.
Longish article on Yahoo and the future of their search products from earlier this month.
But for Yahoo really to build something of consequence in search and personalization, it’s got a lot of hurdles to overcome. “Yahoo has not been able to figure out how to take their data and combine it with third-party data to create something meaningful,” said Sameet Sinha, a senior analyst at B. Riley and Co.Not to mention the fact that Yahoo doesn’t have its own operating system — on mobile or desktop — to jump-start the adoption of any search tool.
Those who are talking about the search monetization value of Tumblr (to Yahoo) forget or are too young to remember the failed Google / Myspace experiments.
What year is this? A blast to the past from this headline:
On Yahoo’s earnings call today, Mayer’s first, she stated that she believes there is more upside in the search business. The quote is not the clearest though:
On search versus display: Mayer says there is more upside in search. There is an opportunity to improve monetization. The content investment Yahoo has made provides a lot of opportunity in display. “I’m bullish on search and display, but because of audience targeting I’m particularly bullish on display.”
A product like this benefits heavily from the halo of a search product. The stronger the search product, the stronger the halo. I’ll leave it at that.
Two years after shutting down a fledgling text-based ad product that Yahoo called the Publisher Network—essentially Yahoo’s answer to AdSense, the company is giving it another go with the launch of Yahoo Bing Network Contextual Ads, a network of context-driven text ads…
Yahoo’s new network is being powered by the contextual ad firm Media.net, a Yahoo partner since 2010…
Does that mean Media.net is an acquisition target for a newly flush Yahoo with an reportedly acquisition-minded CEO at the helm?
Blodget says paying for traffic and breaking even is not a business that works in the long run:
Microsoft’s Bing revenue increased an estimated $50 million or so year-over-year.
Microsoft’s Bing traffic-acquisition-cost increased an estimated $50 million or so year over year.
This suggests that Microsoft paid as much to get the new search queries as it received monetizing them (and that’s before all other costs).
That’s just not a business that will work over the long term.
Note though, that Microsoft is very strategic and I’m sure they think they’re benefiting from the positive externalities of running all that search traffic through their system, which theoretically should make their search engine better since it’s data driven.