There has been a lot of recent discussion the past few days about John Battelle’s post Thinking About Google and The Turning Point.
I thought Michael Arrington at TechCrunh brought up something interesting when he pointed out that he’s now making Yahoo Maps and Yahoo’s webmail is primary apps while Google continues to seem confused about their product direction.
To me the crack in Google’s armor that Yahoo could attack is their publisher base with Adsense. Google still makes the majority of their revenues from Adwords/Adsense. In order for Yahoo to get more of that market, they need more advertisers using Yahoo Search (Overture), more searches on Yahoo Search, and more publishers running the Yahoo Publisher Network which is still in beta.
I think they’ve been trying to compete on the search front to get more searches for a long time, and I’m not convinced they’re going to surpass Google there any time soon, thus leaving more advertisers in Yahoo Search and more publishers running YPN.
Personally, I hate using Yahoo Search (overture). The interface is much harder to use than Adwords, and is a pain to manage large amounts of keywords. Fix that, and I’d spend more money with it immediately.
With YPN, obviously still being in beta makes it hard to grow too much, but they need to attack where Adsense is weak. Make the revenue share public, add some transparency, provide good service, do some of the things Google won’t do and you’ll get publishers switching very fast.