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Over the past few days there seems to be a lot of action with Google and Mobile search. As the advancement in mobile technology continues, the major search engines are finding their place in this infant marketplace to seek out as many advertiser dollars as possible.

Google Searches Abundant on iPhones
On Wednesday, Google reported that it has seen more mobile searches by users using Apple iPhones by 50 times that of any other mobile handset, according to the Financial Times. This shows that the increasing use of mobile search will prove to be a significant source of revenue for Google and others involved in mobile search into the future, but the statistic had Google second guessing.

“‘We thought it was a mistake and made our engineers check the logs again,’ Vic Gundotra, head of Google’s mobile operations told the Financial Times at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.”

Gundotra went on to note that the number of mobile searches could outnumber that of fixed internet searches “within the next several years” if other manufactures improve the ease of web access as Apple has. Read more…

Microsoft released the following official statement today in response to Yahoo’s denial of the $44 bn dollar offer and I highlighted Microsoft’s fully-expected overture towards a hostile takeover:

It is unfortunate that Yahoo! has not embraced our full and fair proposal to combine our companies. Based on conversations with stakeholders of both companies, we are confident that moving forward promptly to consummate a transaction is in the best interests of all parties.

We are offering shareholders superior value and the opportunity to participate in the upside of the combined company. The combination also offers an increasingly exciting set of solutions for consumers, publishers and advertisers while becoming better positioned to compete in the online services market.

A Microsoft-Yahoo! combination will create a more effective company that would provide greater value and service to our customers. Furthermore, the combination will create a more competitive marketplace by establishing a compelling number two competitor for Internet search and online advertising.

The Yahoo! response does not change our belief in the strategic and financial merits of our proposal. As we have said previously, Microsoft reserves the right to pursue all necessary steps to ensure that Yahoo!’s shareholders are provided with the opportunity to realize the value inherent in our proposal.

The nastiness is about to begin as Microsoft is likely to launch its first publicly hostile takeover of another company.

Jerry Yang and Bill Gates in a Borg suit shown. - Resistance is Futile!Over the weekend Bloomberg reports that Yahoo’s board decided to reject Microsoft’s offer of $44 bn because they felt their stock was substantially undervalued but they hinted they could be drawn back to the table with a more alluring offer.

“The board spent a week reviewing the $31-per-share offer before deciding it was too low. The statement didn’t give a counter-proposal for the price. Yahoo wants at least $40, the Wall Street Journal reported this weekend.” (source Bloomberg exclusive)

Read more…

The rumors have been flying around for some time now over whether or not Microsoft will put in an offer for search Giant Yahoo. Many have speculated over the past few months as to if Microsoft would try for an acquisition, and if so, how much was it worth to them.

This morning all speculation came to an end when Microsoft unexpectantly waved $44.6 Billion under Yahoo’s nose. Shortly after the announcement Yahoo Shares rose sharply by more than 50%, while Google shares took another 8% drop down to 515.90 by close of day Friday.

The latest acquisition attempt, and what would be one of the largest in history, would put Microsoft in a position to actually compete with distant leader Google.

In a conference call this morning Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer stated:

“This is a decision we have – and I have – thought long and hard about,” Ballmer said. “We are confident it’s the right path for Microsoft and Yahoo.”

Last year Microsoft purchased online ad service aQuantive for a stagger $6 Billion – petty cash compared the offer currently on the table for Yahoo.

Last year Microsoft was negotiating to purchase yahoo (see Microsoft Buy Yahoo? Yes Please!) And at that time the Wall Street Journal had estimated Yahoo’s value at around $50 Billion.

Will the deal go though this time? It would certainly stir things up and make life a little more interesting for us SEO folks – If the past is any indication of the future, then this deal may just fizzle out, but with Yahoos recent layoff announcement, and lower than expected fourth quarter earnings, this just may be there way out.

(on a completely “conspiracy theory” type level, perhaps Yahoo just paid off Microsoft under the table to stage a fake offer in order to drive Yahoo shares up? Do I believe this – well no, but I was recently reading about some famous historical publicity stunts, so this theory came to mind and I wanted to share it)

Friday, February 1st, 2008

Yahoo Cuts 1000 Jobs

According to the New York Times, in an effort to invest in its future, Yahoo will cut 1000 jobs, making it the largest internet layoff since the big dot-com bust. They did not specify which departments will be cut back.

Yahoo’s fourth quarter (2007) net income fell to $206 million, down from $269 million for the same period in 2006. After the announcement Tuesday, Yahoos stock fell by nearly 10 percent in after-hours trading.

Yahoo currently has approximately 14,300 employees. The job cuts are expected to take place by mid February of this year.

Here are some of the interesting articles and posts I came across today… it is a bit of a content spread 😉

As an accredited Yahoo Ambassador, I am accustomed to working with the Yahoo Search Marketing PPC system (YSM). Although YSM can be an effective means of paid advertising, its Panama system still has a ways to go and I want to share with you several of the challenges in setting up a geo-targeted campaign.

Opening an account with an address in the US or Canada, restricts you to advertising only in those markets. If you’d like to geo-target other areas of the globe, you have to use this site: Yahoo International Accounts Read more…

Have you ever come across a blog, forum, or other interactive site where you only wanted to post a single comment and then move on, only to be forced into registering and providing all your info, and finally saying, forget it?

Yahoo would like to put an end to this through the use of OpenID according to a TimesOnline report Thursday. OpenID is a system that allows internet users the ability to use a single login across multiple websites.

OpenID has been around for a while now and currently has more than 130 million subscribers, but to date, none of the biggest web properties have embraced its services.

“Raj Mata, director of memberships at Yahoo!, said: “This is another step forward for the open web. It is a hassle for users to have to log in to different sites. Often you have to register an account with a site – which you won’t remember – just to post a comment. We think this reduces the barrier to entry.”

While I for one can see the massive benefits of a single log in system giving access to all your favorite sites, I can also see the potential security nightmare. It doesn’t take a programmer or security expert to know that a system like this is probably not without its holes, especially if used on a wide scale.

“The whole thing is fantastically dangerous until you can introduce cryptographic methods which ensure that the whole procedure is not phishable,” Ben Laurie, an independent security expert, said.

While Yahoo noted that all relevant security issues have been addressed with the latest version of the OpenID protocol, time will tell if the initiative will be a success.

chart of the top 50 web properties of December 2007 according to comScore MetrixcomScore released statistics of U.S. consumer activity for the December ’07 holiday season. Included was the always interesting list of the Top 50 web properties:

“Yahoo! Sites continued its reign as the top U.S. Web property in December with nearly 137 million visitors, followed by Google Sites (133 million visitors) and Microsoft Sites (120 million visitors). Apple Inc., which benefited from interest in popular holiday gifts like the iPod and iPhone, moved up one spot to capture position 10 with 47.7 million visitors. Holiday shopping also lifted Sears Sites, which jumped 10 spots to number 21, Best Buy Sites, which rose 5 spots to 22, and JCPenney Sites, gaining 5 spots to position 40. NBC Universal, The Womens Network, and Weatherbug Property all entered the rankings this month capturing positions 48, 49, and 50, respectively.”
Wednesday, October 31st, 2007

Yahoo Algorithm Update Announced

Today Priyank Garg of Yahoo announced that some changes to the Yahoo algorithm had been taking place over the past few days and will be completed soon. He has asked for feedback on the results… whether Yahoo will listen is another matter.