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Decker Memo to Yahoos: It’s All Good




You’re the president of a well-known company. You’ve just spent the past nine months battling off an acquisition from one competitor and battling for approval for a deal with another—and both end up leaving you high and dry. What are you going to do now?

If you said, “I’m going to Disney World!” . . . well, have fun with that. But if you’re Yahoo President Sue Decker, you pull out your best stationary email client and compose a cheery note. Highlights from the company-wide memo:

While this turn of events is regrettable, it’s important for all Yahoos to recognize that our agreement with Google was just one of many efforts that we have underway to accelerate our strategy. . . . The fundamental building blocks of a stronger Yahoo! in both sponsored and algorithmic search were put in place independent of the agreement.

Specifically, there is no doubt that we are improving monetization and driving query growth. Yahoo! continually optimizes its algorithmic and sponsored search, and we have, in 2008 alone, developed and launched hundreds of improvements all designed to enhance search quality and deliver a more relevant search experience to the company’s users. . . .

Not surprisingly, we are seeing results, with the company benefitting from strong RPS gains, as discussed in our Q3 earnings call. Further, we are adding search and contextual ad functionalities on a regular basis. Most recently, we enhanced our geo-targeting capabilities to help advertisers better target their ads with powerful country, city and zip-code targeting and improved reporting.

. . . We are intensifying our efforts to create a more open, efficient and effective marketplace with as many tools as possible for advertisers and publishers to manage how they interact with users. . . . We will lead the way in helping advertisers navigate the continued convergence between the contextual and search ad markets. Finally, we will continue to provide the marketplace with one of the largest and most engaged populations of consumers on the web.

At our very core, Yahoo! stands for innovation, for entrepreneurism at its finest, for technology excellence and for pioneering the online experience, and I know that we can achieve our goals and that we have the right assets and team in place to succeed on this journey.

While the employees probably desperately needed a morale boost after the company’s escapades, to me, the buzzwords sound hollow. The memo, then, is less of a rallying cry of “Onward to victory!” and more of a concession speech.

Meanwhile, paidContent writes that Yahoo’s best options may still lie with third parties, specifically Microsoft in a deal for all of Yahoo or just Yahoo search, or a merger with AOL, although it’s probable that Yahoo will go it alone.

What do you think? Can Yahoo pull out a victory in the end, or is its fate already sealed?

  • http://www.jaankanellis.com Jaan Kanellis

    All that is left is AOL and MSN that have to do something with one of those two.

    Jaan Kanellis’s last blog post..Google Webmaster Chat Recap from October 22, 2008

  • http://www.oneresult.co.uk Dave Carruthers

    I think that Yahoo are pretty doomed, I can see them going it alone from here and falling further and further behind the pack.

    They can have the best Paid Search and Algorithmic Search Engine in the world but it is going to take something pretty big to make even a dent in the side of the good ship Google.

  • http://www.zurpit.com Zurpit

    Now that the deal with Google is off, I don’t think they have a good future. They should try making a deal with another search engine

  • Pingback: Yahoo Girding Itself For Tsunami of Penis Enlargement Ads | TekPopuli()

  • http://speaktomeexpertservices.blogspot.com Ted Murphy

    I think Yahoo! has a strong competitive position and a profitable business model. I also think the internet will be surprisingly robust during this downturn.

    My only problem with the company is that I don’t hear them saying what I just said. What’s with that? Either I’m wrong, or the management needs to flip the script.

    Ted Murphy’s last blog post..SpeakToMe is the Ecommerce Solution for Online Publishers

  • http://www.saadkamal.com Saad Kamal

    Yahoo gets a lot of traffic, They just need to come up with an effective strategy to monetize their huge traffic base. Yahoo doesn’t need google to succeed, they just need some good brains working for their company.

    Saad Kamal’s last blog post..Google Profile Search

  • http://www.HdtvTvTunerCard.com HDTV

    Translation: “We’re working really hard to get to where Google was 2 years ago. By the time we get there, Google will probably be 10 years ahead of us, but hey, at least we’re working hard. Perhaps we’ll explore a sale of the company after it’s crystal clear to everyone (if not already) that we’re getting stomped all over the place.”

  • http://www.netage.co.za Goran Web Design

    Hmmm… Good question there. I’m not quite sure what to make of the memo. But should Yahoo be going down under, then I don’t think making a deal with AOL would do much justice as they’re also not doing well currently. But then again, Yahoo mught have a lot of deals they’ve bagged already and this this trying to make a deal with Google (as if it was their biggest hope) stunt, was all just a misdirection.

    Honestly though, I don’t know what to make of this. We’ll have to wait and see what happens next I guess.

  • http://www.dstudiobali.com/webdesign/busby-seo-test-page/ Busby SEO

    Yahoo already have a huge traffic, they just need some good brains working for their company.

    Busby SEO’s last blog post..By: edtechguide

  • http://www.paystolivegreen.com go green

    I agree with Busby, Yahoo gets very good traffic. Something is wrong with their management as they seem to be desperate to make a deal. They need to merge with cuil where they could legitimately compete with google. I don’t think they will ever beat out google unless they have a complete collapse.

    go green’s last blog post..Green Renewable Energy Certificates

  • http://www.greatpriceshere.com Nicole Price

    I keep coming back to my refrain. The marriage between MS and Yahoo will take place. It is just a matter of time.

    Nicole Price’s last blog post..Ideas for a Mother-to-be

  • http://www.hsbc.co.uk/1/2/personal/savings savings

    @ Nicole, you really do keep coming back. Like I’ve said in my findings, Yahoo does give you quality traffic,It’s a company with great potential but missing the integration of all techs.

  • http://freeipodsetc.co.uk iPod

    Recently Yahoo! has told Microsoft to bid for them again. They say they are keen to be bought by Microsoft so is it just a matter of time before Microsoft make another bid for Yahoo!?

  • http://robert-seo.blogspot.com/ Robert

    Um… didn’t Yang recently ask Microsoft to bid for them again. Only now, the shares are worth half of what they once were! A pity really. If I were MS I’d offer them $10 a share… take it or leave it. Yahoo! is pretty much doomed at this point.

    Robert’s last blog post..Almost a Darwin Award

  • http://www.jordankasteler.com/utah-seo-pro-blog/ Utah SEO Pro

    Bet there’s a lot of water cooler talk around Google and Microsoft there.

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..The Future of SEO

  • http://www.seoresults.co.za/pages/seo-tips/ SEO Tips South Africa

    The last moments of a teethering prizefighter, before drunkenly slumping onto the canvas, could be equated to the current Yahoo! dialogue…enough said!

  • http://www.3arn.net Abdul

    I don’t think that they’ll be so troubled, after all they are the number website on the internet right now, not in terms of power!(U know what I mean)

    Abdul’s last blog post..BlogRush Goes Down the Hill ?

  • http://www.cats-breeds.com/ cat

    Yahoo is loosing it’s positions too fast they need somebodies support even Google’s