Posted February 23, 2008 9:38 am by with 15 comments

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By Alan Johnson

I’ll be the first one to admit that things have definitely been interesting the last couple of weeks, with Yahoo! obviously in the spotlight: Microsoft’s bid, Yahoo’s letter to their shareholders, all of the merger scenarios and Microsoft’s unwillingness to raise their bid.

If I were to describe these events using just one word, it would have to be “entertaining”. Aside from the way things have unfolded, I personally find people’s reaction to be even more entertaining. Under such circumstances, it’s refreshing to observe how Google haters are trying to make this seem like the beginning of the end for them, how they live in denial and think that somehow, a competitor will put an end to their reign and make the Web a better place.

Google haters? Microsoft haters? Yahoo! haters? It always amuses me when I see others taking sides with so much passion. On the other hand, I do tend to feel sorry for the ones who don’t understand how things actually work. Isn’t it about time for a wake-up call?

Google is a business, Microsoft is a business and, you’ve guessed it, Yahoo! is a business as well. Rest assured, none of these companies have making the Web a better place or making your life as a webmaster easier on top of their priority list. It’s all about money, it’s all about profits. Leaving hypocrisy aside, I think it’s pretty fair to assume that anyone in their position would have the same attitude. Google could care less if they help you, and, rest assured, Microsoft and Yahoo! feel the same way.

“But all of them try their best in order to deliver relevant results” will most likely be the instinctive reaction for some. But let’s try to understand why they’re doing that in the first place. No, they’re not doing it out of the goodness of their heart, they are doing it in order to attract users so that, you’ve guessed it, they make money. They are doing it because it’s in their best interest, not because, for whatever reason, they want to help you or make the Web a better place.

In this industry, being emotional and starting to blindly take sides will get you nowhere. It’s strictly business, and the sooner you understand how things stand, the better. Instead of living in denial and thinking that some mysterious competitor will appear out of the blue and save you, as a webmaster looking for a decent traffic source, from Google’s attitude, why not see things as they really are and take it from there? Who knows, you might just realize that you never needed to be saved in the first place.

About Alan Johnson

This post was written by Alan Johnson, the author of The Online Business Handbook.

  • I only use Yahoo for email, other than that, it bores me.

  • Noni Kateus

    Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, 43 Things, etc., are all tools in my entertainment, education, and research virtual library. I use the internet a lot and have learned a lot that way. However, I have NO sentimental attachment to any of it. I do have preferences about which tool I use for any specific activity such as my free online advertising research project, but that is based only on their ease of use and effective end results. Period. Ah…well, I do like to find the occasional (newbie-level) game to play online but so far the only game links are to and some barbie thing for my grandchildren. I’d rather *play* with my German shepherd than the computer.

  • Good read, Alan. Taking sides on Yahoo or Google is ridiculous. What’s next – are we going to have window stickers like Ford and Chevy with Calvin peeing on the Google logo. Hey, maybe we’re on to something here….:)

  • Would be very strange to play in a Microsoft Fantasy Football league in 2008…

  • Yahoo bores me to death, but like James, I use it for Fantasy Football. Good point.

  • I like google, i have yahoo email account, but i like gmail.

  • I have a “thing” for Yahoo!, and it’s this: Yahoo! is a one-stop-shop for most of what I do online. Email, chat, my start page, news, recipes, tracking my weight, and social networking (for a while, anyway – they shouldn’t have abandoned Y!360; I have made some pretty good Internet friends through it and proves that Y!360 had a viable audience/user-base) are all things that Yahoo! has delivered and delivered well over the years.

    I can also honestly say that Yahoo! search suits my needs about 2/3 of the time. I’m big enough to admit that I use Google most of the rest of time, but 2/3 is 2/3; unless I am looking for something very specific, I rarely use Google because I don’t need to; that I don’t particularly care for Google is just gravy.

    Now, is Yahoo! perfect? No.

    HELL NO.

    And no one is more critical of Yahoo! than the loyal opposition, of which I like to think of myself a member. But don’t just take my word for it – check out my Yahoo!360 page.

  • I` d say that was absolutely right desicion I mean
    M&A of Yahoo. The Google is to launch operation system 😉 they say and there will be balance. Hope this is not a long way for standartization of communication, search and other. The internet and computer system will come to the point of dividing
    information systematisation (Google offer the best and only problem is to finish content analyzer), shopping, pleasure, communication, research tools, and constructive devices.
    Magic Donkey

  • Noni Kateus

    Ouuu…standardization? I sure hope not. The individual differences of the SOs and internet Giants works to the benefit of users in my opinion, as they each try to offer something newer/better, exclusive to their site, etc. Google may be “…the best and only problem is to finish…” but don’t we have to say “at this time with the known technology” because there are arenas out there somewhere that we don’t imagine at this date…e.g., how many of us imagined the internet in 1945. (Not me, I wasn’t old enough..haha). n.kateus

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  • i use yahoo mail and gmail, i prefer yahoo mail but prefer Google search and news etc.

    great article thank you

  • They’re all great companies and I use each one of them daily to read about news, surf the net, get email, chat online etc..

    Yeah I don’t think we need to be saved by anyone. IMO, Google is very fair in what they do. They really just don’t like blatant and excessive attempts at gaming THEIR search engine. I don’t hear too many stories about Google penalizing websites for doing things in moderation. They give webmasters plenty of tools and guidelines to follow and they make their employees accessible for questions, recommendations etc. what else can they do?

    The only reason why I’d like to see a little more competition is because competition breeds innovation.

  • They are all great companies, but they are also very big and competitive companies. This in theory should lead to them working hard for their market share and producing tools which benefit us. It just seems at this point in time that Google is getting away from the pack more and more as time goes on.

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