Yahoo: Pragmatic Advice

October 16, 2008

Silicon Alley Insider does a good job of identifying Yahoo’s weaknesses and pointing out some obvious remedies. The consultants racing around Yahoo will have to lay out options for Yahoo, prioritize them, and dress the painful ones in a Project Runway gown. Yahoo has big problems, and you can get up to speed by reading “Yahoo Cracks $12 , Valuation Now Officially Ridiculous” by Henry Blodgett here. I wanted to add one point to Mr. Blodgett’s analysis. Yahoo’s heterogeneous approach to platforms and software adds another, more troublesome problem to the mix. Some fixes can’t be made because the time, cost, and complexity mean the job is just too big. Other fixes work for one service, but the features can’t be made available seamless to other services. For an example, just navigate to Yahoo and run a shopping query. Now navigate to Google’s shopping service and run the same query. I am running these test queries from the UK, so you may have to rekey the search phrase I used, “quad core motherboard”.

Which set of results makes more sense to you? Yahoo has some bright people, but the platform is looking more like a major liability Yahoo or its eventual owner must address.

Stephen Arnold, October 16, 2008

Comments

2 Responses to “Yahoo: Pragmatic Advice”

  1. Rosbif on October 16th, 2008 10:28 am

    Hi Stephen,

    I don’t think your search example is very fair.

    You’re searching on google shopping, but in the Yahoo! generic search results.

    This is the equivalent page at yahoo! (click on shopping link on the (UK) homepage before searching…

    http://shopping.kelkoo.co.uk/ctl/do/search?siteSearchQuery=quad+core+motherboard

  2. Stephen E. Arnold on October 16th, 2008 10:36 am

    Rosbif

    Thanks for your comment. I did a query and it is what it is. I have run numerous queries on Yahoo shopping and find the service less useful to me than it was in the past. Also, I did not force my view on anyone. I think I suggested that you look at both and decide. I don’t expect my limited samples in this Web log to cover all the bases. My opinion stands. Yahoo shopping is less useful. One reason: I can’t limit the query to Yahoo hosted stores. I have others but I’m not the person Yahoo needs to convince. Yahoo has to lure eBay and Amazon users now.

    Stephen Arnold, October 16, 2008