MarketWatch discussed the merger talks between Microsoft and Yahoo today. The states headline states flatly ‘YahooSoft’ not enough to take on Google!
That analysis is no doubt galling to both companies. Both have failed to gain significant market share of search, despite what seems like endless acquistions activity by Yahoo and confident Microsoft promises to build their own better system for search.
MSN was stung by Google’s winning $3.1 billion bid for DoubleClick last month (even though MSN reportedly made a higher offer) and while Yahoo countered by buying another Ad server, Microsoft counters by offering once again to buy Yahoo. Fact is, neither approach is likely to work to wrest control of market share from Google. My favorite quote from the MarketWatch story is:
“Here are two companies that are bad at the same thing,” said Scott Kessler of Standard & Poor’s. “With a merger, you get one company still bad at doing that same thing.”
Wow, that about sums it up. But what is the solution for the two? It seems odd that the #3 player is talking of buying the #2 player and combined (a generously estimated 38% combined total), their reach would still smaller than the competitor they both want to take on.
I’ve poked fun of both Yahoo and MSN for years for various reasons, most have to do with a lack of focus or for putting monetization above utility of tools and services and all of their flailing about.
It’s simple guys. Build or buy a great service, not a service designed to take market share, not a service you can leverage to beat the competition, not a service that mimics Google – just build something that works well and that you have a passion for. Something that is just too cool and everyone wants to use. Make it popular first, THEN monetize it Are you listening Yahoo? Or is it going to be MicroHoo?
Mike Valentine is an SEO Specialist offering occassional commentary on Search Engine Developments through his Reality SEO Blog and developed WebSite101 Small Business Ecommerce Tutorial in 1999 to help educate the little guy to the intricacies of online business.