At the end of this July, a death certificate was signed for a company. That company was Yahoo. It wasn’t heralded by Yahoo as being a death certificate, in fact the powers that be in charge of Yahoo proclaimed that it was a great deal. The deal in which Bing.com essentially takes over natural and paid search for Yahoo, gives Yahoo 88% of the revenue of the PPC clicks derived from Yahoo.com. It allows Yahoo to essentially shed hundreds of millions in technology and development costs (along with employee salaries and benefits).
Yahoo CEO, Carol Bartz had already made in known in the press that Yahoo wasn’t really a “search company” and never had been a search company (Huh?):
Yahoo, according to Ms. Bartz, simply feeds search results for people who have grown curious while reading one of its news stories or watching a video. It doesn’t generally pop into peoples’ minds as the first place to go look for answers during the course of their day-to-day activities.
As such, Ms. Bartz said she could continue to live with the 20 percent or so share of the search market Yahoo has today, calling it “a very viable number.” “It is very profitable,” she said, “and we would be happy all day long.”
The biggest thing for Yahoo is increasing the number of pages people consume and slapping as many display ads as possible across those pages. “My fortunes are tied to my pages,” Ms. Bartz said.
It’s very well documented that Yahoo obviously is and was a search engine, and Bartz was rightfully raked over the coals for trying to spin Yahoo’s declines. Either way, the damage was done and Danny Sullivan wrote a marvelous eulogy proclaiming: