My take on the Microsoft – Yahoo deal

February 1, 2008

I would very much like the deal to go through and actually succeed! For the sake of innovation, the Internet needs the search and online advertising business to be competitive. If you are in the direct to consumer world, Google probably accounts for the vast majority of your traffic, revenues and marketing spend. The dependence is scary!

Unfortunately, two mediocre companies merging usually make a larger mediocre company – not a better one. I can see why Google dominates the online advertising market. AdWords is so much easier to sign up for, use and optimize campaigns against. The sign up is much harder on both Yahoo and MSN. On Yahoo there is no way to buy traffic globally – you need one account per country and they all use different platforms! The US uses Panama, Brazil an older version of Panama and many other countries older versions still! It’s extremely difficult to get accounts, reporting is a mess and it’s hard to optimize. Sometimes Yahoo is actually cheaper than Google on a ROI basis, but it’s so painful to buy campaigns we don’t bother anymore! Even Panama – while better is still not as good as Google’s solution.

If the deal goes through, they have their work cut out for them: unify the media buying and selling platform across all companies for all their properties on a global level and then we will be talking!

I hope they succeed, the Internet needs it!

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