Microsoft-Yahoo Mashup Scrapped: Hidden Winners and Losers

On Saturday, Microsoft formally withdrew its proposal to acquire Yahoo. With the Microsoft-Yahoo mashup scrapped (for now), who are the hidden winners and losers?

I’m not talking about the stockholders, advertisers, employees, CEOs, management teams, boards of directors or other stakeholders of Google, Yahoo or Microsoft. They are the obvious winners and losers.

No, I’m talking about the hidden winners and losers – or, at least the ones that have been hidden in plain sight. I may have missed some. I’ve been busy. (I’ve got a day job.) But, here are the ones I was able to find on Sunday:

Hidden Winners of the Scrapped Microsoft-Yahoo Mashup


The biggest hidden winner is AP photographer Mark Lennihan. His May 4, 2007 file photo of a Times Square news ticker flashing a headline about Microsoft above a billboard for Yahoo became one of the most used images in Google News to illustrate stories about Microsoft’s unsolicited bid for Yahoo.

Flickr protest of Microsoft

Another hidden winner is the Flickr group photo pool, “Microsoft: Keep You Evil Grubby Hands Off Our Flickr.” Its About Us statement reads, “THIS GROUP WILL STOP MICROSOFT FROM BUYING YAHOO! AND DESTROYING THE FLICKR WE KNOW AND LOVE OR WE WILL DIE TRYING.” Put down the camera, son. It’s over.

Kevin Ryan on the Microsoft Yahoo bid (Associated Press)

The final hidden winner is Kevin Ryan, the global content director for Search Engine Strategies and Search Engine Watch. His comments to AP on what the possibility of a Microsoft-Yahoo conglomerate means for the online marketplace ranks #1 in YouTube if you search for the two-word term, Microsoft Yahoo.

Hidden Losers of the Scrapped Microsoft-Yahoo Mashup


The biggest hidden loser is the Y-Que T Shirt Superstore. While it ranks #1 in Google Product Search for MicroHoo, that wasn’t as popular at term as “Microsoft Yahoo,” according to Google Trends. And now it’s stuck with a bunch of funny t-shirts commemorating the takeover of Yahoo by Microsoft.

iron man

Another hidden loser is Kevin Heisler, executive editor of Search Engine Watch. What was he doing Saturday night at 9:59 p.m.? He was posting a story to the Search Engine Watch Blog entitled, “Microsoft Withdraws Yahoo Offer; Yahoo Responds.” He should have been out watching Iron Man, like Deborah Richman.

Steve Ballmer going crazy

The final hidden losers are the Rapid Response Team at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and the staff at Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher. Do a search for Steve Ballmer on Google. See the YouTube video of Steve going crazy? I’ve got four words for public relations professionals: Search Engine Reputation Management.

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