Yahoo: Not A Goal To Overtake Google In Search Market Share

Steve Rubel
to a Bloomberg news article,
gives up quest for search dominance
, examining Yahoo CFO Susan Decker saying
“It’s not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to
maintain our market share.”

I talked with the story’s writer, Jonathan Thaw, for the article. Jonathan
was intrigued by Yahoo seeming to give up in the challenge to beat Google. Heck,
I was as well.

It’s important to note that Decker’s talking about search market share. Yahoo
may not think it possible to overtake Google in terms of actual searchers, and
saying that up front lowers some expectations among investors that are expecting
to see gains.

Still, if Yahoo’s not expecting to overtake Google — and it’s the firm
number two player — it doesn’t speak much to MSN’s chances to rise.

As I said in the Bloomberg article, it still seems like you would want being
number one as a goal, even if you think it may be unrealistic or one that will
take a long time to achieve. Certainly saying you’re number two to your
employees and consumers isn’t very inspiring. At least Avis put a
on their embracing of being number two all those years ago, to say it was better
for consumers because “We try harder.”

Steve definitely wasn’t inspired by the Yahoo news, saying he’s no longer
going to use Yahoo:

I have no interest in using a product that the company doesn’t aspire to make
best of breed. If search is no longer hip to Yahoo, then Yahoo Search is no
longer hip with me.

Again, Decker did NOT say that Yahoo was uninterested in search nor that they
thought they were number two in terms of quality. She was speaking about
market share and how Yahoo didn’t plan to overtake Google in winning users away.
But point taken — saying your goal isn’t to be number one in one particular area
can spill into others.

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Yahoo: We’re OK Being Number Two

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