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Microsoft, Google, And Yahoo: One Doesn't Belong

Yikes! Yahoo is bleeding advertisers. A lot of advertisers. Yahoo's newly named CEO, Carol Bartz, will be tasked with pulling back the stick of a company in a steep nosedive.
Yikes! Yahoo is bleeding advertisers. A lot of advertisers. Yahoo's newly named CEO, Carol Bartz, will be tasked with pulling back the stick of a company in a steep nosedive.As the most recent data shows, advertisers are just not into Yahoo anymore. At the same time, Google and Microsoft are grabbing a larger share of advertisers. As the article notes, this is advertiser share and not dollars; given the miserable state of the economy it's likely that all three are making less money nowadays. But losing advertisers at a pace like Yahoo is doing makes it even harder to eke out revenue.

There is some data that points to Yahoo having a harder time during this recession (or whatever you'd like to call the economic malaise we're in). Data from early in 2008 showed that Yahoo tended to attract lower-income users. Those users are already taking the worst of the economic downturn.

Low-income users are also most likely to be wooed by Microsoft's pay-to-search incentives and programs like Live Search Cashback. Those programs may explain Microsoft's year-end rise in advertisers. The question is whether Microsoft can continue paying users just so it can stay in the search game. There's also data that shows lower-income users increasingly are turning to iPhones for their search needs, which plays into Google's hands.

So, given this dismal data, it may be that the biggest job of Carol Bartz is to determine how to dismantle and sell the parts of Yahoo to get the best value out of what remains. What a difference a year makes.

Editor's Choice
Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer