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Google and Yahoo Team Up | Website Office
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Google and Yahoo Team Up

June 13, 2008

Though delayed for 3 months to allow for examination by the Justice Department, Google and Yahoo announced a paid search partnership yesterday. Though the claim is that the partnership is non-exclusive and most definitely not a merger, there are still serious concerns expressed by the Justice Department because of the possibility of a lack of competition.

Other than anti-trust concerns, however, this deal opens a completely new world of search. Google and Yahoo claim that Yahoo still has control over its own paid search and can determine when and if to use Google’s adSense. Supposedly, this allows Yahoo complete freedom to use, or not use, Google’s services. The deal also allows Yahoo to continue to expand its own paid search business, possibly phasing out the need to use Google. The new ads from Google will apparently be used to fill in Yahoo’s gaps.

Yahoo also explains that existing advertisers will have the opportunity to opt into the Google ads but that new advertisers must stick with Yahoo’s paid search offerings. Questioned about the need to advertise with Yahoo with the partnership in place, Yahoo explains that it still has the ability to choose when and what ads will be displayed by Google and which Yahoo will continue to control. This control is purportedly what makes the partnership legal and prevents it from being seen as a merger.

Additionally, the non-exclusive nature of the partnership allows Yahoo to combine with other search engines. Ironically, however, the only other search engine with the viability to make the most of such a partnership is Microsoft. Yahoo has disclosed that talks with Microsoft ended on June 8. After the inability of Microsoft to acquire Yahoo, Microsoft was interested in Yahoo’s paid search business, but Yahoo determined that this drove too much revenue. After denying Microsoft the purchase of its paid search business, and entering into a partnership with Google, Yahoo seems to have gone back on its claim of a more open strategy. Of course, they won’t acknowledge this and claim that their actions are consistent with their new strategy.

What does this mean for you? It means that you should keep doing what you have been doing but you should also be exploring the possibilities for your business. Knowing that your ads have the possibility of appearing on both Yahoo and Google, with one ad account, will definitely make things easier on you but it is hard to determine how much it might help you. It is most certainly not a good idea to put all of your eggs in one basket, however. Without the ability to predict which ads Yahoo will use from Google, there is no telling how successful a singular campaign would be.

Written By: James Blackburn, Website Office Staff Writer

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