Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 0
It seems that the Yahoo Rule-Maker analysis was done under the premise that the Yahoo user is a paying customer. But in fact, Yahoo users are not paying customers, advertisers are. From Yahoo's November quarterly report, "The Company's revenues are derived principally from the sale of banner and sponsorship advertisements." Shouldn't the analysis be done with the advertiser, not the user, in mind?

I think that you have to look at branding and repeat purchase as an advertiser would, not a user. For instance, millions of users does not constitute repeat purchase. Repeat purchase should be judged on repeat advertising business.

Tony
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"But in fact, Yahoo users are not paying customers, advertisers are. From Yahoo's November quarterly report, "The Company's revenues are derived principally from the sale of banner and sponsorship advertisements." Shouldn't the analysis be done with the advertiser, not the user, in mind?"

I agree. This is my one big concern with all the Internet companies whose main business is portals or search engines. Once advertisers get over the romance of buying ads on the Internet and wake up to the fact that the response rate is so low (typically less than 1% of portal visitors click on a given advertising site), it doesn't justify their advertising costs, I fear they will pull their support of the search sites enmass.

Bill
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
>> Once advertisers get over the romance of buying ads on the Internet and wake up to the fact that the response rate is so low (typically less than 1% of portal visitors click on a given advertising site), it doesn't justify ..... <<

Now THIS is an interesing question.

Is Internet advertising REALLY less cost/efficient than sponsoring sports events, or billboards on the highway, or direct mail, or radio or TV spots ? Who keeps track of such data ? Doubleclick ? A.C. Nielsen ?

Although I've yet to ever "pay" for anything I've seen over at Yahoo!, it has aroused my interest enough to have at least contacted a company or two, or visited a site. I'm not sure if this is less or more effective than the magazine ads I barely notice, or the newpaper ads, or the flyers that arrive in the mail and go straight into the recycle bin. But it is such a big business, that SOMEBODY must be monitoring it.

Anybody with any information, it would be appreciated.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Re: Internet advertisement ...

Don't forget another aspect of IP revenues, from sell-throughs and referals. I guess this is still a small number but the "community" aspect (or what Tom call's the horizontal architecture) of internet means that there are plenty of cross-references that make a major "portal" valuable to other content and service providers.

Read today's "Interview of the Day". the vivacious Lou2 says she found the Fool via "links to Fool news" in her Yahoo portfolio. I found the Fool via the link at the bottom of My-Portfolio at Excite. These referals tend to provide an excellent and targeted audience. It would be nice to know how valuable such referals are.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I can't reel off numbers, but for TV, radio, and print there are very closely monitored and frequently updated measures of how much revenue is generated per advertising dollar in a given market. This is in part how advertising rates are set. These data don't exist for the Internet, and there will eventually be a reckoning when the first big studies come out. From personal experience, and from talking to other frequent surfers, the ratios of visits to ad clicks, and ad clicks to dollars spent have got to be very high (thousands? tens of thousands?).
Look at the Motley Fool pages: why would they have added exhortations to click ads if there weren't a problem with generating ad clicks (currently the only metric available to justify rates)? I personally have clicked maybe two or three ads in the 3 years I've been coming here.
It's not just stock prices that are inflated with portal companies. Sooner or later both advertisers and consumers are going to figure out that they are really just middlemen, and what is the Internet about if not eliminating middlemen? If a web page doesn't provide some extra value in the way of aggregating (useful) information or providing some service either better or cheaper, they will eventually wither and die, regardless of advertising revenues, because those revenues will be available to anyone who does a good job providing the aforementioned services. In this respect, YHOO is by no means unique.
Robert
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Robert> I can't reel off numbers, but for TV, radio, and print there are very closely monitored and frequently updated
measures of how much revenue is generated per advertising dollar in a given market.


I think this is a very interesting discussion. Mostly because it seems to me hard for such measurements to be done accurately. The only exception would seem to be the case where a consumer is asked to call a number (which I suppose would be similar to clicking on an ad). For a normal TV, radio commercial or billboard ad it seems unlikely that anyone would be able to tell how much revenue was generated due to that particular ad. Obviously there's the recognition factor but the same would apply to a click ad. I may never click on an discount broker ad but when it came time to chose one I would no doubt consider those whose banners I'd noticed (E-trade pops to mind).

Lael
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
This is my one big concern with all the Internet companies whose main business is portals or search engines. Once
advertisers get over the romance of buying ads on the Internet and wake up to the fact that the response rate is so low
(typically less than 1% of portal visitors click on a given advertising site), it doesn't justify their advertising costs, I fear they
will pull their support of the search sites enmass.<<

Just out of curiosity does anyone know what percentage of viewers of TV ads buy or even consider buying the product advertised? What about magazines and newspapers? Is internet advertising more or less effective than other media? -MarkV
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
PetroBill said:
Once advertisers get over the romance of buying ads on the Internet and wake up to the fact that the response rate is so low (typically less than 1% of portal visitors click on a given advertising site), it doesn't justify their advertising costs, I fear they will pull their support of the search sites enmass.

My husband is an IS manager, and a week or two ago, he had a meeting with some programmer-types from Netscape. Once they were done with the business at hand, he asked them some questions he had about browsers. I don't know all the technical stuff, but he was bouncing some ideas off them about how you might be able to block certain images from downloading when you pull up a page. He said that at first they were quite positive - "oh yeah - you can do it that way" and then as they realized what he was getting at (namely a method to block the downloading of ads) they said "oh my." They were kind enough to direct him to some other resources who might be able to help, though.

How eager will advertisers be when software to block their ads becomes readily available?

Laura
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
One way for an advertiser to assess the impact of fees paid to a site is to track the sources of hits to their own site. I would imagine it's possible to have the destination server query the requesting server as to what the previous requested IP address was, thereby telling the advertiser where the hit came from. Does anybody know if companies are doing this? Perhaps those little Java applets could tell the destination server where they are when they are clicked. I'll look at the source code of some of the Fool's ads and get back to you.
A cruder way would be to do what companies do in a particular market with radio, print and TV: launch a campaign in a specific medium for a specific period of time, and track sales for a given period and measure the bump. There's nothing to prevent e-commerce companies from doing the same thing.
Either way, there is a way to measure this, and it's only a matter of time before the data is available, and I'll be surprised if there is a big difference, if at all, from ads in other media. My suspicion is that it will be markedly less effective, and rates will come down.
Robert
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I just checked, and the E-trade ad has a bit of HTML that identifies the source of the ad as "FOOL", so there is a way. They were the only ad that had it, however.
Robert
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
rwack said,
" This is in part how advertising rates are set. These data don't exist for the Internet, and there will eventually be a reckoning when the first big studies come out. From personal experience, and from talking to other frequent surfers, the ratios of visits to ad clicks, and ad clicks to dollars spent have got to be very high (thousands? tens of thousands?). Look at the Motley Fool pages: why would they have added exhortations to click ads if there weren't a problem with generating ad clicks (currently the only metric available to justify rates)? I personally have clicked maybe two or three ads in the 3 years I've been coming here."

Which is my concern with search engine sites like Yahoo. When I am using Yahoo to search for something, I want to find the answer to my search, not get diverted off clicking on some unrelated advertising site. So I never click on their ad sites. At least The Motley Fool site has ads directly related to the nature of our doing business here (i.e. discount traders, financial newspapers, etc.)

If Yahoo can come up with a way to have ads come up directly related to my search, now that would be a powerful tool for my advertising clients. Let's say I am doing a search on prospecting for gold. If an ad were to come up on Yahoo for the Amateur Prospector's web site or the Miners equipment catalog, I would undoubtedly check out those sites in addition to my search. Maybe they already have something like that?

Bill
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<So I never click on their ad sites.>

I don't know of anyone that clicks those annoying banner ads. In my opinion, the whole Internet advertising scheme is bass-ackwards. It's based on the old TV model of trying to get the name of the company in front of as many people as many times as possible.

Here's how I think it should work:
1. Free sites with excellent content (like this one) should get rid of all banner ads
2. On the home page, put text-based links to all advertisers. (no icons, no graphics)
3. Put a message near the links that says this: "Whenever you are ready to make a purchase over the Internet please click through from our site."

This seems so simple and obvious to me - but maybe it wouldn't work. It's based on the idea that people aren't dumb blobs just waiting to be sold something, but intelligent individuals who already have a good idea of what they want.

For example, say you purchase PCs for a major company, and your company buys direct from Dell. Normally the PC purchaser would go directly to the Dell web site. However, if she is a fool, she will start at The Fool home page and click through to Dell from there. Maybe she buys $1 million worth of PCs. Dell gets a huge purchase that resulted directly from a click from The Fool home page. That's probably worth quite a few banner ads.

I'd bet dollars to donuts that when people are ready to buy something they go directly to the web site. Then they fill out some survey that asks them how they came to find the company. Maybe they can remember how they found the company and maybe they can't.

With the straight-forward approach of telling your site visitors to click through from the site whenever they make a purchase, you are showing your visitors respect, and in the process you will probably get the best click-through to purchase rate on the 'net.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I'll bet the Fool Folks have some numbers on this topic from running this site. How much do you guys get from ad revenue? Are rates falling or rising? How do you track your own ads on other sites? Anyone? Bueller?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Though it's not exactly the point I was trying to make when I started this conversation, I think that the ensuing discussion on web advertising is interesting. As I read the responses, I get the feeling that I'm in the Rule Breaker forum. It seems that we shouldn't be discussing whether web advertising is working, or how it should work, or if it will survive, but rather if Yahoo is a Rule Maker (or potential Rule Maker) in the advertisement-based portal/search engine business.

The point I was making is that, contrary to the buy report, Yahoo cannot be analyzed based solely on its fantastic capabilities for the users and how it has established itself as the premier search engine site. The money making component, the ads, have to be factored into branding and repeat business.

But then again, if we were talking about a magazine publisher, we wouldn't be talking about advertisers, which I believe account for a large chunk of a publishers revenues. We'd be talking about subscriptions and readership. That's because magazine advertising is established. It's a given. Popular magazines tend to draw the bigger advertisers and keep them.

This discussion points to the idea that web-based advertising in general and advertising based search engines in particular are not necessarily established. I would think that for Yahoo and its competition to even be considered Tweeners, that the business would have to be considered established.

Maybe we'd all feel better about this if Yahoo had some Coke and Chevy and Doritos ads.

Tony
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The point that discussing web advertising seems out of place in the RM arena is dead on. That's why, regardless of financials, Yahoo isn't a Rule Maker, at least as defined until now. They are essentially a Web Advertising company, no matter what bells and whistles they dream up on the site. They live and die on ad revenue, which to me seems like a dicey business, especially this early in the Internet game. I'd like to hear Tom Gardner's views on the advertising issues.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Tony,

We're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. I believe online advertising is not just here to stay, but will expand at an extraordinary rate over the next decade.

Today, Web ads allow for better targeting and much better measurement. Going into a magazine advertisement, there's no way to really know how many people will see your ad. This is a risk that advertisers would love to take out of process. The Web allows them to do just that.

What you'll often hear from users is "Hey, I never click on these ads. They're worthless." But think how many ads readers mentally click on when they read a newspaper. Very few. Further, think how many radio listeners flip channels when an ad airs. In no medium is advertising an automatic hit for the entire audience.

What that means, though, is that targeting is of increasing importance. If you're offering discount brokerage services, you wouldn't want to advertise on Nickelodeon. But when considering a financial magazine versus a financial web site, would it not comfort you as an advertiser to know that there is a way to count how many folks saw the page, there is a way to count how many folks clicked through to your site, and there is a way to communicate immediately with those who contacted you.

To provide a little bit of guidance beyond this, a few years ago, The Motley Fool had to pull an advertiser (at their request) immediately, because the responses overwhelmed their capacity to classify them and respond to them. This is a problem that we've had on a fairly continuing basis, with advertisers large and small. Even though many of us may rarely look at these ads, and even less frequently click through them, the online discount brokerage industry has been built from the ground up by online advertising. It's an industry that is taking Wall Street by storm -- and I think it's a fine example of repeated advertising into an environment that can allows targeting and tight measurement.

My belief has only grown stronger, over the past three years, that the real risk in the world of media is in the traditional mediums: newspaper, magazine, television, radio -- where targeting and tracking is less efficient. If you take a look at the numbers comparing a company like CBS to Yahoo!, I think you'll see that what might've seemed a stabler business (CBS) is actually at risk (and has resulted in layoffs this past year). And what seems the less stable business (Yahoo!) is actually firming up very quickly (and has resulted in Yahoo!'s inability to find enough candidates to hire).

Time will tell here. But I think the inflection point in media is so profound right now, and yet so clear in the numbers, that Yahoo! is a late-stage Tweener headed quickly for a crown. . . while the traditional media is flying into storm clouds. Again, what looks stable isn't; what looks immature is aging at a thrice accelerated rate.

The beauty of it all is that if we are wrong, as managers of this portfolio, we've risked just 6.6% of our total assets -- after having shored the portfolio up with dominant companies that stand to benefit from the changes in today's business world. Pretty Foolish, I think.

Tom Gardner

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The beauty of it all is that if we are wrong, as managers of this portfolio,
we've risked just 6.6% of our total assets -- after having shored the
portfolio up with dominant companies that stand to benefit from the
changes in today's business world. Pretty Foolish, I think.

Tom, that is a Gobelli thing to say. Are you turning the Rule Makers into a WISE mutual fund? Hey as long as your throwing 6.6% here and there, I've got this Bridge for sale . . .

The best way to get past a mistake is to admit it and move on. You jumped the gun on Yahoo. Admit it and move on. Big deal.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<<The best way to get past a mistake is to admit it and move on. You jumped the gun on Yahoo. Admit
it and move on. Big deal. >>

Do you really think this decision wasn't thought out? Have you read the buy report? Do you really think Tom, Phil, Al, and Rob wouldn't thoroughly think through an investment decision like this for the RM portfolio?

I am not suggesting that you must agree with them, or that they are right, even. But for you to suggest that they somehow "jumped the gun" here is, well, in my tiny little opinion, foolish with a little "f".

And as far as the percentage thing that Tom talked about, they put the same amount of money into the Yahoo purchase (roughly $2,000) as they did all the others. I can't speak for Tom, but I think his implication was that should they be wrong (which can certainly happen to everyone now and then) they haven't committed more to the Yahoo investment than they have any of the past RM purchases, therefore it *is* by default, only 6.6% of the port for now, and much more of the portfolio is being carried by companies such as CSCO and MSFT (because of the appreciation of those companies' stock prices)...It's not like they just willy-nilly threw 6.6% of the port into something just because it was 6.6% and only 6.6%...


Lou


Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Phil - Yes
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Tom G himself wrote:
To provide a little bit of guidance beyond this, a few years ago, The Motley Fool had to pull an advertiser (at their request) immediately, because the responses overwhelmed their capacity to classify them and respond to them. This is a problem that we've had on a fairly continuing basis, with advertisers large and small.

I'm just curious -- if this is the case, why have those silly exhortations above the ads been added?

Erik
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Thanks Tom for that detailed reply. You paint a compelling picture of the larger landscape and strategic issues regarding advertising and different media, but I haven't seen anything yet that says what Yahoo does for advertising is going to make them, and keep them, the dominant force in Web advertising.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
To rwack,

There is definitely a way for advertisers to know where
their hits are coming from. Each site (i.e. fool.com)
gets a unique I.D. for their ads. So if you were to copy the Fools code, the Fools would always get credit.
Besides counting hits, they can also log sales, days,
time, etc. that were generated from a given site.

MomAtHome,

There is software available to "block" advertisements,
and browsers (that's correct -web browsers) that will
not display any ads.

ElFool
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
You paint a compelling picture of the larger landscape and strategic issues regarding advertising and different media

I think (or at least hope ) that we can take Tom's gung-ho attitude about web-vertising in general, and Yahoo! in particular, as a strong evidence of the "enduring" and "emergent" business model of Web-portals and search engines and communities.

Why ?

Because, of all of us, Tom has the most at stake in the success of web-business and content-providers and community-conglomerators. And Tom has the (probably) the most knowledge of both the challenges and the real money rewards of successful web-business. If he sees this as good business (and he sees the Fool bottom line every day) then I take it that he is "buying what he knows" and confirming the lucrative aspect of this business.

Until his recent reply and the questions it raised, it never occurred to me that someone in the Gardner's position could use The-Motley-Fool's own business experience to evaluate the quality and potential of this investment. Assuming he has not deluded himself, the fact that he says "this business is good enough to own in a MODEL portfolio" (a place that has bigger consequences than the mere $2000 invested in the actual stock), I feel sufficiently calm about letting my own investment ride.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Obviously there's the recognition factor

I think this is the purpose of much of the general advertising that is done. You don't usually run out to buy a product when you see it on TV or radio, but when you want a product, such as a battery, you will recall the good things Sears says about their "diehard" battery.

I too seldom click on banner ads, but I do remember some of the discount brokers with their little advertising. In fact, if I wanted to find one, I would probably use TMF as a starting point to find the proper web page.


Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
TomG said:

Today, Web ads allow for better targeting and much better measurement. Going into a magazine advertisement, there's no way to really know how many people will see your ad. This is a risk that advertisers would love to take out of process. The Web allows them to do just that.


I have to agree with Mr. G. here. Isn't it obvious that with the web, and "cookies" that advertisers have a brand new power to gather demographic data, target ads to individual users, and monitor the effectiveness of ads in real time. If I were an advertiser, this would be a dream come true!

He also said:
What you'll often hear from users is "Hey, I never click on these ads. They're worthless." But think how many ads readers mentally click on when they read a newspaper. Very few. Further, think how many radio listeners flip channels when an ad airs. In no medium is advertising an automatic hit for the entire audience.


It seems that none of us think that we are "clickers." I myself do not click. Well, at least not very often...And I've only signed up for free stuff that I saw once or twice...And I only see ads that I recognize about 100 times a day--whether I like it or not the ads are getting stored in my head.

--steve-o
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

"If Yahoo can come up with a way to have ads come up directly related to my search, now that would be a powerful tool for my advertising clients."

AltaVista.digital.com already does that.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
"If Yahoo can come up with a way to have ads come up directly related to my search, now that would be a powerful tool for my advertising clients."

They do - when I was looking for rental car companies, I got banner ads for Alamo - or was it National? I don't know, nor does it matter. It was a "targeted" banner, though.

Laura
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The best way to get past a mistake is to admit it and move on. You jumped the gun on Yahoo. Admit it and move on. Big
deal. <<<<

Lets just wait and see what happens before we pass final judgement on TG's "mistake." For all the controversy we have stirred up here about advertising growth etc. this investment is the same as any other Foolish investment, a calculated risk with potential benefits. I personally think the potential benefits of growth are well worth the risk after looking carefully at Yahoo's financial position. -MarkV
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I was hoping that when Tom weighed in on this he would be able to provide us with some specific numbers as to the direction of ad rate increases/decreases, revenues, metrics for tracking the effectiveness of a given ad, etc., stuff he has learned from running the MF web pages. Perhaps this is a little too proprietary to be discussing in this venue, but that's the kind of info that is lacking in the public domain right now that would make assessing the long-term viability of a company like Yahoo a little easier. Having eye-balls and page visits right now is no guarantee of eye-balls and page visits in even a few years, given the accelerating pace of consolidation among the bigger Internet players.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Until his recent reply and the questions it raised, it never occurred to me that
someone in the Gardner's position could use The-Motley-Fool's own business
experience to evaluate the quality and potential of this investment. Assuming he
has not deluded himself, the fact that he says "this business is good enough to
own in a MODEL portfolio" (a place that has bigger consequences than the
mere $2000 invested in the actual stock), I feel sufficiently calm about letting my
own investment ride.

trusting blindly is not a Foolish approach. It is a bit like saying Dave Thomas or Ray Kroc said to eat burgers and they should know about burgers so I'm gonna do it.

Heck, it is possible that this selection was to create cotroversy/net traffic and raise the value of the Fool to advertisers.

I really trust the Gardners and do not suspect anything like this to be the case, but lets not Wisely follow Tom's picks.

Tom, do you have a response as to why Yahoo will continue on as a powerhouse like compuserve and Prodigy. Or will it become a has been like AOL.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
First of all, let me agree with Miwys. I hope that no one is blindly following our selections nor assuming that we must know this industry thoroughly well, because we work in it. The numbers I've dug up on Yahoo! are all publicly available (on sites like Media Metrix) and though I have some unconventional thoughts about Yahoo, most of my financial thinking is unconventional when stacked up against the money mags and newspapers.

As for the question of Yahoo!'s future, I think the company is distinct from Prodigy and CompuServe (and more like AOL) in many, many ways. We can almost start and end, though, with the fact that both Prodigy and CompuServe had corporate parents that took a passing interest (and often an uneducated interest) in the development of this new medium. Sears and IBM were mostly a hindrance to Prodigy. And CompuServe's CEO didn't even have a PC on his desk, during the heyday battle between C-Serve and AOL. Hmm.

Beyond these, Yahoo! has a much more tightly focused business and simple (non-existent) pricing scheme. Both Prodigy and C-Serve wandered in their business thinking and tried to work unusual tiered pricing systems into their networks. Yahoo! has more focus and more clarity for its users.

Of course, I don't believe that Yahoo! is a shoe-in winner. The big threat is Microsoft. I don't believe, however, that any of Yahoo's present competitors (Excite, Lycos, Infoseek, America Online, Netscape) will catch it. The main concern that I see over the next five years is Microsoft. I expect this medium to grow more critical to the daily lives of individuals around the world, more critical to those who advertise on it, and Yahoo! is the number one springboard to that activity today.

Mr. Softy, though, is still out there.

Tom Gardner, Fool
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Tom,
In what way do you see Microsoft as a potential competitor to Yahoo? As a future portal?
Aren't you at all concerned about the risk of creeping irrelevance for portals? For example, as people become more comfortable with the web, the need for portals as aggregators of info for the web-naive will decrease. (I never use them. I go straight to the site I'm interested based on links from somewhere else or a search engine) Granted, that may take a long time given the web's relative infancy compared to world population, but the longer the time frame, the better chance a viable competitor could arise. In the near term, the question is will people enter the web faster than people outgrow the need for portals?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
rwack wrote:
Tom,
In what way do you see Microsoft as a potential competitor to Yahoo? As a future portal?
Aren't you at all concerned about the risk of creeping irrelevance for portals? For example, as people become more
comfortable with the web, the need for portals as aggregators of info for the web-naive will decrease. (I never use them. I go
straight to the site I'm interested based on links from somewhere else or a search engine) Granted, that may take a long time
given the web's relative infancy compared to world population, but the longer the time frame, the better chance a viable
competitor could arise. In the near term, the question is will people enter the web faster than people outgrow the need for
portals?


I'm not Tom, but I am a YHOO shareholder and a Rule-Maker investor (which I think should be two different things, but I will leave that dead horse alone:-), so I'd like to share my opinion. First of all, I think it is a common mistake among the relatively net-savvy to assume that most net users are more familiar and comfortable with the internet than they really are. I think I certainly overestimate that at times. A majority of Americans (much less the rest of the world) are still relatively "unskilled" with respect to the internet. While I can't fathom ever needing to buy a book about how to get around on the web, go to a bookstore sometime and look at how many books are written just on that topic. (Also, note that most of those books will probably make reference to Yahoo! as being a good starting point!) In any case, much like people worrying that digital photography is about to make Kodak irrelavent in the next couple years, I think it will take quite a while before portals are no longer needed or desired. That time (along with cash, high margins, and no debt) will allow them to evolve into whatever they need to be in order to remain a fixture on the web.

This sort of segs into my second point, which is that Yahoo! is a little more than a portal to the web, they provide other services and information, from finances, to weather, to your local movie listings. As I have seen some mention, it is possible that they are the best site for none of those things, but the fact that they are the only one for all of them is what makes them appealing.

None of this makes a case for why Yahoo! will stand taller than Go or Excite or whatever, but that wasn't your concern in this message.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
BigHoo, good reply, but still how do you see Microsoft as a competitor to Yahoo or do you?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
BigHoo, thanks for your recent posting on Yahoo!

At the end of it you state: None of this makes a case for why Yahoo! will stand taller than Go or Excite or whatever, but that wasn't your concern in this message.

I'd be interested in reading your views on why Yahoo! will stand taller (or not) than Go or Excite or any of the others.

Thanks,
Sam
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I'd be interested in reading your views on why Yahoo! will stand taller (or not) than Go or Excite or any of the others.

I'm sure other people are more qualified than I am to answer this. But I'll share what I think. I view the Rule Makers like a game of King of the Hill. The Rule Breaker is the first guy to find the hill. He is the king but nobody has tried to push him off. The Rule Maker is the one that has entrenched himself as king of the hill. He has slammed down all competition, sent them rolling back down and falling on their faces at every challenge. Yahoo! is a tweener, which might be like a few competitors racing to get to the top of the hill. I think with their top brand name, amount of traffic, lack of debt and amount of cash, they are in first place in this race (vs. Go or Excite and others). But I can't guarantee they will win the race, and/or be able to throw off all competitors. As Tom G. has noted, Microsoft hasn't really even come to the hill yet, but if they do, look out.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
BigHoo asked:
>>In what way do you see Microsoft as a potential competitor to Yahoo? <<

Yahoo! offers among other things web-based e-mail, calendar, contact list, to-do list. These are compelling pages for an advertiser-driven business because they are "sticky", causing users to return again and again and stay for extended periods. They also force the user to invest in site personalization leading to ongoing customer loyalty. Count me among the loyal!

But wait a minute, doesn't Microsoft offer desktop software with these functions? Yes and it's called Microsoft Outlook, part of the Office suite. By web-ifying Outlook and binding it to the MSN portal (or to the recently court-reclaimed MicrosoftOffice.com) Microsoft can leverage their monopoly in desktop applications. And while they're at it why not make MSN (or again MicrosoftWindows.com) the new "face" of Windows? They sure as heck better do all this and then some. Else not just Yahoo! but When.com, Jump.com, and Magicdesk.com threaten a major revenue stream.

Ever wonder why Microsoft was so determined to win the browser war? When not just the Browser but the Operating System and Application Suite all tightly integrate with the Microsoft "portal" you'll say "Oh yeah, that's why".
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
aroazietti commented: Maybe we'd all feel better about this if Yahoo had some Coke and Chevy and Doritos ads.

It's interesting that you mention that. I don't recall seeing any genreal ads, as opposed to the "click and go" ads, on web pages. Sounds like a new angle.

Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Someone posted: "If Yahoo can come up with a way to have ads come up directly related to my search, now that would be a powerful tool for my advertising clients."


And MomAtHome responded: They do - when I was looking for rental car companies, I got banner ads for Alamo - or was it National? I don't know, nor does it matter. It was a "targeted" banner, though.


I think the suggestion was that the results of the search lists the web pages of the advertisers. I doubt that it would make things much worse, there are already a lot of trash in the hits anyway.

Print the post Back To Top