Tag Archives: Yahoo

Yahoo’s Mixed Finances

Right, so Yahoo beat the analyst expectations (GOOD!), but still posted a fourth quarter loss of some £212m (BAD!).

That’s a lot of money to lose, especially considering Google contiues to lead the pack – Last week they also defied analyst predictions, but still made a profits of £266m. Impressive amounts, but rather worringly for them, it’s a drop of 68% year-on-year.

Returning to Yahoo though, it’s even more depressing. Profits fell by 34% compared to the same period last year. Although they’ve got a new CEO at the helm, (Carol Bartz), who I’m sure actually do a great job in turning the company around, I’m not entirely convinced that her $19m YEARLY salary is going to help improve the revenue streams of the business.

Strange Questions

One of the reasons why I love the end of the year so much is the fact that everyone starts churning out random yearly reports.

Following on from my recent post about the terrible top searches queried on Yahoo, today sees Ask.com releasing their query-question data. As with Yahoo, the UK once again displays a wonderful cultural sophisitication and completely plays up to the sterotype with which Europe, if not the world views us… The top question on Ask UK was… “Am I pregnant?”

The top ten results were also peppered with other such lovely gems like: “What’s the minimum wage?” and “Where can I get a cheap loan?” One question that narrowly missed making the grade was “How can I improve my libido?” Obviously, celebrity made the list, with (in all fairness, quite a good question), “Who is the Stig?”, but more randomly “Why is the sky blue?” also made the list.

I’m not sure about you guys, but I suddenly have a very vivid mental image as to what the core demographic of UK internet users looks like…

Search 2008

Yahoo have released the top search queries they’ve recieved so far this year.

Shockingly, although it includes news, music, travel and sport categories, the most sought-after searches (in the UK) revolved mostly around celebrities and awful televison. Although Oasis were at number four and the US election at number six, so maybe there’s a glimmer of hope for us all.

The top searches were:
1. Britney Spears
2. Big Brother
3. X Factor
4. Oasis
5. High School Musical 3
6. US Election
7. Amy Winehouse
8. Heath Ledger
9. Kate Moss
10. Eastenders

Stuck like Glue

Right, well, Yahoo users in the US might have glimpsed the new offering, Glue.

At the moment, it’s only running as a trial and has a small amount of content available, but looks pretty cool. Think Google’s Universal Search, but displayed a bit more aesthetically… It pulls together search content content from all over the internet onto one single page, including image results, Youtube videos, news and blogs.

As I said, it’s fairly limited at the moment, with only a handful of topics available to users – ranging from Kylie Minogue, through to Cupcake Recipies. Suprisingly, it’s been previously tested in India, so go figure. Perhaps the orders for this came from Mr Yang – people in power always go a little nuts – which is why he finally quit?

Who knows, but I do sincerely hope we’ll soon be seeing Glue up and running in full – despite the fact that Yahoo really shouldn’t be playing too much with search and needs to focus on a different business model.

Struggling Search

Last week Yahoo announced a riduculous number of job cuts.

I didn’t find this the least bit funny, but it amused me that they shunned Microsoft’s massive offer of $CRAZY million dollars a few months ago, and now the company’s shares have plummeted vastly below what they refused.

Now, even Microsoft is looking a bit panicky though, this morning releasing news that they’re expecting online revenue growth to slow to between 6% – 10 % in the next quarter, with display advertising being dramtically affected by the economic environment. Note: Display, NOT Paid Search, which could mean great rates for advertisers.Despite this slightly pessimistic prediction, Micrcosoft’s online functions still just made a cool $770m (£495m) these past THREE months and, a slight slap in the face for Yahoo, Microsoft just posted quarterly results of $21bn MORE than Yahoo’s entire market cap of $17.5bn (£11.2bn).

A new breed of begger is about to be born? Spare some change, anyone?

Told You so

Quick post, as I’m at work.

Referring to my musing on Yahoo UK, the new site has just gone live.

It looks so much better.

Ask And Ye Shall Find

Once again, I return to an issue I’ve already mentioned before… The importance of websites realising that in order to be competitive, they have to move forward with user’s needs.

So, it’s with no great surprise that Ask, an old-school search engine, has opted for a total facelift and new approach to dealing with user searches. If you happen to be as old as me, you’ll remember that they did this before, back in 2006, when they gave their butler-image the sack. Now, after alread intoducing new applications, they’re going to be focusing upon being the search engine of choice for users who are asking direct questons. (eg. Is there no end to the talents of DigitalGeekUK? Will he ever be the next Bill Gates? Why have I read this far?!) Recent data from ComScore support this, as they found that Ask is more often used by people searching for specific answers to questions… (The clue is in the name)… Search Queries that use questions make up around 5% of searches on Google, Yahoo and Microsoft Live, but accounts for 15% of Ask’s searches. Sounds like a lot, but remember that Ask only has a 2% market share in online search!

So, it seems that Ask will be restructuring themselves around this as we well know that rivals are increasingly looking at ways to set themselves apart from Google in the competitive world of search. The new Ask site will be launched in the UK on October 20th, but is already live in the US. Sneak preview here, guys.

It looks a lot like Google, and doesn’t try to hide this fact, openly claiming to have “borrowed” design ideas from the mighty search leader. Ask also claim that the re-designed site will be faster, improve search results and produce more relevant results for the user.

Whilst they undoubtably have a challenging task ahead, it’s not all bad news. Even with such a small UK marketshare, the lastest figures from Neilson show that during August, 46m searches were conducted on Ask, which is roughly one in five of all people using a search engine. Maybe the figures will be even better this time next year?