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Yahoo…

Both Steve and Stowe speak to this story on Yahoo in which they say it’s not their goal to be #1 in search:

“We don’t think it’s reasonable to assume we’re going to gain a lot of share from Google,” Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker said in an interview. “It’s not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share.”

No surprise there. Yahoo’s “life engine” brand positioning gets more to where they are going. Arguably, they’ve done a better job than Google of integrating the entire web 2.0 suite. And that’s how I use them. My customized portal is of as much value to me as the utility of Google. Frankly, none of Google’s products other than search have wowed me. Google Earth was like fun for a day. But I’ve found the reverse to be true for Yahoo!

I’m not about to make any declarative statements about giving up on Yahoo!. What is telling is the relationship between the CMO and Google vs. Yahoo – at least the CMO of a start-up. I look at Adsense every couple of days. They suck my marketing budget up like an out-of-control Dyson vacuum cleaner. And of all the marketing vendors they are the only one to demonstrate a very real, automated correlation between investment and results. Yahoo simply isn’t there with them.

What is catching my attention as a CMO are all the other search options coming my way – companies like SLI Systems and Eurekster for instance. We tend to always view the battle as being between giants. More than often innovation happens at the edges of the market – that’s how Google snuck-up on Yahoo and I have no doubt that Google will inevitably be challenged by upstarts.

So, even if my thesis holds true, it will be interesting to see how they monetize the life-engine position in the future. Google’s competitive weapon isn’t just the utility of search, but all so the utility of their advertising engine.

Disclosure: Yahoo! is a customer of LogLogic where I am CMO.

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