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Why Yahoo Shouldn't Give Up No. 2 Search Spot

  • Ad Age, Tuesday, January 29, 2008 12:30 PM

It feels like today may be Yahoo's D-Day, what with Wall Street analysts predicting poor earnings and the rumblings about widespread layoffs growing into roars. But for you naysayers who think the Web giant should outsource its search to Google (essentially getting out of the game to focus on "something else"), Danny Sullivan thinks you're nuts.

"Maybe Pepsi should just license to bottle Coke," Sullivan says. "Perhaps Avis should give up the 'We Try Harder' thing and concede to Hertz." He argues that while Yahoo faces a tough challenge in trying to wrangle more search share from Google, second place in the search race actually ain't all that bad. The Web giant has traffic that SMN, and to a lesser extent Ask and AOL would kill for, and more importantly, Yahoo still has a strong brand.

Outsourcing search to Google would dilute that brand and serve to derail Yahoo's progress for getting back "on track" as the starting point for millions of Americans who use the Web. Sullivan says that without search, there'd be nothing left for influencers to do in terms of recommending Yahoo--and that would be the real death knell.



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