Search Engine Optimization and Marketing for E-commerce

Yahoo! faces irrelevance in search wars

by Andrew Kagan 5. October 2010 08:37

With Yahoo close to ceding second place to Microsoft Bing, and now sharing ad revenue with its former competitor, many search analysts predict a swift decline for the former web content powerhouse. In the waning days of September, both Nielsen Media and Comscore report Bing has surpassed Yahoo in search share, and it will likely continue to take over Yahoo's share as more Windows 7 computers come online (Bing is the default SE in IE8, hastening the process).

Bing introduced many innovations in search results last year, placing Google in the improbable position of playing catch-up in its search results pages. Bing's consolidating results onto a single page was quickly copied by Google for its image search, and Google's latest innovation, Google Instant predictive search results, is receiving mixed reviews after producing incoherent, and sometimes offensive, results. The AJAX-enabled search results are also reducing the number of clickthroughs on Google itself, although this has little impact on PPC revenue for Google.

With ad revenue spiraling downward at Yahoo, however, the company has positioned its portal as more community-oriented than Google or Bing, fighting it out with AOL and other classic content portals providing "unique" content. But web communities are coalescing around social networks, not search portals. My prediction: Yahoo will be fully absorbed by Microsoft in less than two years.

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