Yahoo is preparing a few small attacks on Google his dominance. Currently Yahoo is using Google his technology to deliver search results, but Yahoo is planning to drop Google his technology somewhere in Q1 2004.
First, Yahoo is expected to dump Google as the primary search technology on its site within a few months, a move that could come around the time Google is preparing a long-awaited initial stock offering. Some marketing firms, which help advertisers manage their online campaigns for search-related ads, say they have been told Yahoo will switch from Google to its own technology as early as the first quarter.
Second, Yahoo wants to combine personalization and customization features to extend the usefulness of searches. Third, it plans to expand its use of "paid inclusion," whereby it frequently surveys a participating merchant's sites for the most up-to-date information and includes those findings in users' search results. Merchants pay Yahoo from 15 cents to more than $1 when visitors click on a link for that merchant.
The strategy isn't simply to match what Google does now but to add features its rival can't easily match.
Based in Sunnyvale, Calif., Yahoo incorporated in 1995 as a kind of Yellow Pages directory of the Internet, using employees who manually categorized Web pages. But it has always relied on technology from others for automated Web searches. Since 2000, that technology has come from Google.
Yahoo now views Google more as rival than ally, a contender for the lucrative ad revenue that comes from targeting ads at the moment people are looking for something. Yahoo spent more than $2 billion last year buying Overture Services Inc. and Inktomi Corp. to buttress its in-house search technology. And now it is beginning to roll out offerings stemming from those acquisitions, based on Overture's technology for selling "sponsored," or paid, search results, as well as Inktomi's technology for searching the Web.