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Monday, June 4, 2007

Yahoo! Admits Search Defeat to Google?

Posted by @ 6:40 pm

Yahoo!, one of the biggest names in online search has said that personalization is now more important than search, in what some are saying is an admission of defeat to Google.

The comments came from said Tapan Bhat, vice president of Yahoo!’s personalized home page at the Next Web conference in Amsterdam.

“The future of the web is about personalization. Where search was dominant, now the web is about ‘me.’ It’s about weaving the web together in a way that is smart and personalized for the user”

Although Yahoo! has talked about developing a more personalized web before, the statement is the first public admission from the company. The remarks were seen by many as an admission that Yahoo! can no longer compete with Google in search and instead have decided to shift their focus.

Deborah Schultz, a Silicon Valley-based marketing consultant gave one of the conference keynote speeches and had this to say about the comments.

“They’re basically admitting defeat.” “They’ve realized they can’t compete with Google on search.”

When asked to clarify his statement to the Times Online , Bhat said, “We’re not admitting defeat. Search still matters, but we need to be providing a wrapper around search to turn the info search offers up into something more useful.”

So what does this mean for us? While the ultimate goal of personalization is to deliver more relevant results to each user, I can’t see it replacing search all together. I think the two combined can form a healthy mix to assist everyone find relevant information online. What do you think? Let us know via our blog comments!

Matthew Elshaw Matt is a marketing professional at, an international search marketing firm. Matt's passion for online marketing began at university and has proved invaluable in steering product development and marketing initiatives at the company. Matt is a regular contributor to the ineedhits search marketing blog.

View Matthew Elshaw's profile

Discussion (2 - comments)

While personalization is important, our firm prefers Yahoo! in terms of the features that they offer the small business owner. Our single lawyer firm relies heavily on free offerings from companies like Yahoo. We use a Geocities site to assist us in business exposure. Google does not offer such features and is much less robust in the personal features, in our opinion. (See our site at and ask yourself if Google could offer those kind of features without charge to the small business owner.) Also, I see some of Google’s tactics as less than honorable, violating their own policy of “don’t be evil”. True enough, a large company has to make a lot of money to support itself. However, how much more money and notoriety they could make if they offered free services like Geocities.

By Anonymous - June 5, 2007

I find that Yahoo still provides about four times more people visiting my web site than Google does.
Find N Choose

By Anonymous - June 5, 2007

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