Yahoo’s Sue Decker Weighs In on the Defense of the Search Ad Deal with Google

Yahoo President Sue Decker took to the Yahoo Anecdotal blog to defend the search advertising deal her company struck with Google a few months ago.

Google has been doing the heavy lifting when it comes to defending the deal to the critics. So, it was about time we heard from Yahoo again on the deal.

But Decker started off with a sarcastic tone. Her first paragraph ended with:

Since the critics clearly don’t understand the deal and what it means for Yahoo!, Google, advertisers, and users, it’s time for some myth-busting.

Sue, if you want to win friends to your side, you shouldn’t alienate these critics. Many of them are AdWords customers!

But Decker devolves even further by saying making her two points about what the deal does for Yahoo instead of making it about the customer:

  • Yahoo! will use this agreement to help us become a stronger competitor in all aspects of online advertising; and
  • Yahoo! is not exiting the sponsored search business. We plan to remain a strong player in sponsored search.

I know that Decker has probably been consumed with trying to save a flailing Yahoo. But the fact that she’s going after this argument by defending the business aspirations of Yahoo might show why this company is struggling in the first place.

Companies succeed when they focus on the customer. But Yahoo is focused on stock prices and board preservation. This is not the way to win the hearts of search advertisers or investors.

Otherwise, Decker made points that Google has made. She says there will not be price setting between Yahoo and Google because advertisers set the prices through the bidding process. The price is related to the value which is based on demand.

Decker even played on Google’s unofficial motto “Do no evil” by saying the partnership would be implemented through respect for the Hippocratic Oath “first, do no harm.”

To be fair, Yahoo probably needs this deal in order to bring in some extra income. What they need to do what that income is invest in innovation that brings a better search experience to users. That’s what the search industry needs right now. And it’s the only way to truly compete with Google.

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