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.
Burke said Yahoo is introducing a new Ad Manager, which is supposed to give advertisers direct access to the company’s ad products, regardless of the company’s size. And there’s a new Yahoo Ad Exchange, a marketplace for programmatic ad-buying…
Burke suggested that the reason for the revamp is feedback from advertisers who say that the display advertising ecosystem has become “overgrown” and needs to be “consolidated and cleaned up.”
Burke said that the Yahoo Ad Exchange is an enhancement of what it offered through Right Media, and that the Right Media brand is being “sunsetted.”
Finally, he predicted that security will be a big theme this year [SSL encryption]
Additionally, this creates more innovative targeted ad inventory:
Mayer suggested that Yahoo could use Aviate’s technology to deliver its content in ways that are “smarter and more personalized.” For example, she said that your homescreen could automatically show you stock quotes at the beginning of the day, instead of forcing you to open a finance app.
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.
Old but good link on Baidu:
In its early days, Baidu wasn’t modeling itself on Google. Li and Xu were much more interested in being the next Inktomi, a U.S. firm that powered search on other Web portals and was eventually acquired by Yahoo in 2002 for $235 million. Rather than host an independent site, Baidu licensed its search index to Sina (SINA) and Sohu.com (SOHU), then the dominant portals in China, and charged them each time a user conducted a search. Busy copying Yahoo’s portal business model, those companies didn’t realize search’s potential, concedes Charles Zhang, chairman and CEO of Sohu. “That’s how Baidu captured this opportunity while [we] were not paying attention,” he says.
Its display advertising business, which accounts for about 40 percent of sales, fell 7 percent to $470 million, compared with the same quarter a year ago, in large part because of increased competition from Google and Facebook in the $17.5 billion United States display advertising market.
Below is a full list of Yahoo’s acquisitions since 2005. How many can be described as success stories?
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.
Not good if investors are already asking these questions. The two clearest advantages Mayer brought with her were ability to re-motivate and inspire the org and buying time/patience from investors and the (modified) board of directors.
Mayer’s honeymoon period with Wall Street may soon be over. It’s time for Mayer to begin proving that her plan to get Yahoo back on track works, starting with Monday’s results.
Most analysts and buyers doubt that Yahoo would ditch Right Media at this point. But all agreed that investments in talent and tech are crucial for the company’s future.
So I suppose we’ll see a bit more acqui-hires:
The acqui-hires would also be more in line with Mayer’s intentions to build up Yahoo’s mobile andprogrammatic selling talent base, sources said. During the company’s most recent earnings call, Mayer repeatedly stressed the importance of mobile and programmatic buying to Yahoo’s future. The latter focus would seem to require more engineering talent to bolster Yahoo’s internal inventory management capabilities.