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Google to Yahoo! – “It’s Been Nice but I Don’t Want to Fight For You”

posted by Jason McElweenie
Thursday, November 6, 2008

Broken RingGoogle is breaking up their advertising marriage in a sign Yahoo! sees as Google’s not wanting to fight Department of Justice and their decision to block their agreement. It looks like their June – November marriage has come to a halt.

In a letter to Yahoo! advertisers, Hilary Schneider, Executive VP, spoke of their disappointment in Google’s decision to leave their agreement but I’m sure with the hit Google took this year in the stock market the last thing they want to get into is a lengthy court battle that would cost millions of dollars to defend.

This leaves a lot more questions on the table concerning Yahoo!’s  future. Clearly Jerry Yang has been having a bad year and people are calling for his dismissal  so it will be interesting to see where this will end up.

In the meantime we’ll keep plugging away while Microsoft, who are probably sharpening their fangs, wait in the wings


Dear Advertiser,

We wanted to reach out to you directly regarding Google’s decision, announced earlier today, to terminate the advertising services agreement that the companies announced in June. Yahoo! continues to believe in the benefits of the agreement, and is disappointed that Google has elected to withdraw from the agreement rather than defend it in court. Google notified Yahoo! of its refusal to move forward with implementation of the agreement following indication from the Department of Justice that it would seek to block it, despite Yahoo!’s proposed revisions to address the DOJ’s and advertisers’ concerns.
While disappointed by this turn of events, we are writing to you to reaffirm our commitment to working together to drive your advertising results, and to provide the continued leadership you expect. The fact is that this deal was incremental to Yahoo!’s product roadmap and does not change Yahoo!’s commitment to innovation and growth in search.

As you know, Yahoo! has long focused on how to improve the user, advertiser and publisher experience. We will continue to enable you to easily connect with the consumers you most want to reach, by creating a more open, efficient and effective marketplace for advertisers and publishers. We also plan to continue to provide the cutting-edge advances in products, platforms and services that the industry needs and expects, by leading the way in helping advertisers navigate the converging contextual and search ad markets. Finally, we remain committed to innovation in anticipating the needs of Yahoo!’s audiences–one of the largest and most engaged populations of consumers on the web–by creating the unique context that delivers results for brand advertisers online.

In short, even in the absence of a commercial agreement with Google, we intend to become an ever-stronger player in online advertising. Our certainty on this front comes from the progress we continue to make in many areas, not the least of which are the significant innovations we’re making in search. We continually optimize our algorithmic and sponsored search. In fact, in 2008 alone, we have developed and launched hundreds of improvements to our search engine, including index expansions and updates, ranking models and performance tuning. Each of these features is designed to improve search quality and deliver a more relevant search experience to our users.

Particularly in this economic climate, identifying and making rich and deep connections with your target audience is of the utmost importance. No company is better prepared to help you succeed in that quest than Yahoo!. In addition to being the largest aggregate publisher in the U.S., we are #1 or #2 across virtually every key category, including being #1 in the categories of News, Sports, Finance and Entertainment, and we’re putting our leadership to work for you every day.

By offering extensive reach to consumers, breakthrough advances in technology, simplifying inefficiencies in the advertising process, putting new and industry-recognized talent in place, and providing tailored solutions across our network to meet your needs, we are well prepared to provide you with the most significant return on your investment.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with you in building your business. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or anyone on our team with your questions, or to discuss your challenges. We’re open to a productive dialogue with you in the service of continuing our successful work together.

Warmest Regards,
Hilary Schneider
Executive Vice President, Yahoo! U.S.


Jason McElweenie

For more information please contact the Search Engine Marketing Team at Schipul –

Yahoo! Introduces BOSS – Build Your Own Search

posted by Jason McElweenie
Monday, July 14, 2008

In positive Yahoo! news the hottest search commodity has announced it’s BOSS(Build Your Own Search) platform that will help ‘developers, start-ups, and large Internet companies… …build and launch web-scale search products that utilize the entire Yahoo! Search index’


Yahoo!, recognizing the extreme talent base of its web users, is opening the doors in an effort to further improve its search product. BOSS is an open platform that lets partners ‘developers… …take advantage of Yahoo!’s production search infrastructure and technology, combine that with their own unique assets, and create their own search experiences.

In a blog post Yahoo! gave a quick summary of what is available to BOSS partners

  • Ability to re-rank and blend results — BOSS partners can re-rank search results as they see fit and blend Yahoo!’s results with proprietary and other web content in a single search experience
  • Total flexibility on presentation — Freedom to present search results using any user interface paradigm, without Yahoo! branding or attribution requirements
  • BOSS Mashup Framework — We’re releasing a Python library and UI templates that allow developers to easily mashup BOSS search results with other public data sources
  • Web, news and image search — At launch, developers will have access to web, news and image search and we’ll be adding more verticals soon
  • Unlimited queries — There are no rate limits on the number of queries per day

At first glance this seems like a pretty cool thing but the first point above opens a Pandora’s box of possibilities. Allowing sites to ‘re-rank’ search results could potentially cloud search results on some less reputable sites giving top place to advertisers. I know what you are saying ‘We pay to have our ads on sites like Yahoo! and Google’ but you don’t pay to have your site on there organically(non paid).

Search manipulation aside this is a great thing for sites that want to offer a search function. There are no limits on queries per day and no restrictions on presentation. So, search as much as you want and make it look however you want, that’s pretty cool

More on what’s available to date:


Yahoo! has provided some examples of BOSS Partners

  • Me.dium, a start-up that’s built an innovative collaborative browsing product used BOSS to build a web-scale search engine that leverages its real-time surfing data. By combining the depth of the Yahoo! Search index with its insight into where users are browsing, Me.dium can provide its users with a unique buzz-based search experience.
  • Hakia, a semantic search start-up, is using BOSS to access the Yahoo! Search index and dramatically increase the speed with which it can semantically analyze the web. With BOSS providing this important infrastructure, Hakia is able to deliver a language search experience that isn’t available from any of the "big three" search providers or other semantic search engines.
  • Daylife To-Go is a new self-service, hosted publishing platform from Daylife. Anyone can use this platform to generate customizable pages and widgets. Daylife To-Go uses the BOSS API platform to power its web search module.
  • Cluuz, a next-generation search engine prototype, generates easier-to-understand search results through semantic cluster graphs, image extraction and tag clouds. The Cluuz analysis is performed in real-time on results returned from the BOSS API.

Get a BOSS Application ID(at time of posting login does not work )


Jason McElweenie

For more information please contact the Search Engine Marketing Team at Schipul –

Microsoft & Yahoo! the Saga Continues

posted by Jason McElweenie
Monday, July 14, 2008

Yahoo! was again courted by Microsoft this past weekend in a deal that might be akin to drunk dialing. Drunk Dialing, you know, you’ve had too much to drink and its late and you really want to talk to someone so you convince yourself that you should call them even if it is 4 in the morning. Basically, you throw away any hint of reason and against your better judgement you do it anyway. Well it seems that Microsoft did a little drunk dialing on the weekend, called up Yahoo! and made another offer that left many heads shaking and gave them 24 hours to decide.

Drunken Texting

Microsoft teamed up with Yahoo! stockholder Carl C Ichan in a bid to take over Yahoo! and completely replace(fire) the entire board of directors and the top management team.

Wow, they must have had a few too many Grey Goose martinis if they thought that one would have passed.

Yahoo! Chairman Roy Bostock had the following to say in an official release from Yahoo!;

“This odd and opportunistic alliance of Microsoft and Carl Icahn has anything but the interests of Yahoo!’s stockholders in mind. Clearly, Microsoft, having failed to advance in search, is aligning with the short-term objectives of Mr. Icahn to coerce Yahoo! into selling its core strategic search assets on terms that are highly advantageous to Microsoft, but disadvantageous to Yahoo! stockholders. Yahoo’s Board of Directors will not allow that to happen. Yahoo!’s Board remains open to any transaction that delivers full value to our stockholders – we just do not believe such a transaction should be dictated by Microsoft and a single short-term investor…"

…After negotiating among themselves without the involvement of Yahoo!, Carl Icahn and Microsoft presented us with a ‘take it or leave it’ proposal under which we would be required to restructure the Company, hand over to Microsoft Yahoo!’s valuable search business and to Carl Icahn the rest of the Company, giving us less than 24 hours to respond. It is ludicrous to think that our Board could accept such a proposal. While this type of erratic and unpredictable behavior is consistent with what we have come to expect from Microsoft, we will not be bludgeoned into a transaction that is not in the best interests of our stockholders”

In business speak that translates to; ‘Are you out of your *&$%@#^mind? Look we were never together. I’m with Google now, ok? You need to move on. Go buy Apple or something’

In the press release Yahoo! references its new deal with Google and refers to it as having ‘superior financial value and less complexity and risk than the Microsoft/Icahn proposal’

This doesn’t mean the dance is over yet. Later in the press release Yahoo! states that it ready to sell to Microsoft for the original $33 but Microsoft balked at that deal. I’m not certain but the recent deal with Google’s AdWords, that has come under scrutiny, might have something to do with it.

Whatever happens this sure has been fun to watch, sort of like Desperate Housewives for search nerds

Stay Tuned next week as Steve Balmer cuts the break lines on Jerry Yang’s Mercedes – that is a total falsehood but would make for a good movie though, wouldn’t it?


Jason McElweenie

For more information please contact the Search Engine Marketing Team at Schipul –

Yahoo! New Minimum Bid Webinar Available

posted by Jason McElweenie
Thursday, May 29, 2008

If you’re managing your own Yahoo! Paid Placement Campaign and need help with the new minimum bid structure, Yahoo! has released their Webinar on this topic to better help advertisers with understanding why they’re doing so and where you can go in to your account to update your bids.


The Webinar will go over some of these topics:

  1. Minimum pricing update
  2. Update on interface
  3. Best practices to use
  4. General Yahoo! account questions people have asked

You can find the achieved webinar here: 

This Webinar is about an hour long.

You can also visit the Yahoo! Search Engine Marketing Blog for the most updated information.


Annisa Chan

For more information please contact the Search Engine Marketing Team at Schipul –