It’s Alive! Beware of the Search Beast Named “Yahoogle”


Ok, so I’m about 4 days late breaking this news, but I just have to share my 2 cents. Last Thursday, Google announced that they had reached a deal to share their AdSense for Search and AdSense for Content with Yahoo!. Holy crap, the Yahoogle beast is alive. The number 1 and number 2 search giants are now officially in cahoots with each other. Times they are a-changin’.

This deal leaves Yahoo! with complete autonomy as a company, and grants them the power to choose to what extent they use Google’s advertising technology. Even more surprisingly, the deal was brokered in such a way that Yahoo! can still work out deals with other providers (even good ole Microsoft). All of Google’s PR is defiant in the fact that this is a symbiotic relationship, and that the competitive nature between the two companies will remain alive and well. Here is how Google describes how this deal compares with other competitive relationships:

We also think this is good for competition. The truth is, this kind of arrangement is commonplace in many industries, and it doesn’t foreclose robust competition. Toyota sells its hybrid technology to General Motors, even though they are the number one and number two car manufacturers globally. Canon provides laser printer engines for HP, despite also competing in the broader laser printer market. Google and Yahoo will continue to be vigorous competitors, and that competition will help fuel innovation that is good for users.

Search Engine Land put together an excellent comparison of the Google deal versus the collapsed deal that Microsoft proposed earlier this year. According to this chart, there are obvious “ups” and “downs” to this deal for the companies involved. There’s opportunity for increased revenue on both sides. Yahoo! maintains their search brand and is only obligated to use Google’s advertising products in the US and Canada – which means Yahoo! is free to partner with other companies for foreign search markets. On the downside, there are serious anti-trust implications and boundary lines could get blurred and confusing.

As a PPC advertiser who relies on both of these search engines for my livelihood (and that of my clients), I must admit I’m a little concerned about where all of this will lead. And despite reading every piece of news and PR put out, I still have more questions than answers.

  • What kind of effect (good or bad) will this have on my AdWords accounts?
  • I have some great Yahoo! accounts. Will this relationship put a damper on that performance by reducing Yahoo! impressions/clicks/conversions?
  • Will Yahoo! be sporting the “Enhanced by Google” logo?
  • Ultimately, what’s the end goal? I understand revenue, but is this a band-aid fix for Yahoo!?

Now that the news has broken and the SEM pundits
have spoken, it’s time to start getting more information. The deal states that Google and Yahoo! will wait up to 3 months to allow the Justice Department to review, but I hope that Yahoogle quickly provides more details of this relationship. Inquiring minds need to know. What are your thoughts on this deal? Are you mad, glad or just ready to ride the waves?