Flickr’s Caterina Fake: Blathering About Yahoo! Giving Up Search Dominance to Google is Bullshit
Caterina.net: Blathering in the Blogosphere Well as I maintained earlier today, it is the valuable social search properties that personally I believe can pull Yahoo! out of the search hole that they’ve found themselves in and it is great to see Caternia Fake (who is closer to what’s going on with social search at Yahoo! than perhaps anyone), come out today and call the blathering bullshit (a strong word that she notes herself that she rarely uses in blogging).
“Quotes taken out of context by company executives do not an overarching business strategy make.”
I probably do agree with this. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with reporter Jonathan Thaw’s choice of words when he said that Yahoo! “capitulated” to Google. This word has a particularly strong connotation and I think it was more literary license than perhaps appropriate given the comment. Particularly, if as Caterina makes reference, the comment was taken out of context, then the word choice is particularly suspect in my opinion.
Caterina adds, “I really think people should be paying more attention to what’s said by people working in Yahoo! Search. Amr Awadallah, who sits near me at Yahoo!, is typical of the many people who should always be paid attention to at Yahoo! — he’s one of the smartest guys around.
Anyways, I do think Yahoo! has assembled one of the best lineups of social search companies of anyone (but of course they still can add a few more gems) and do expect that you see them integrate these properties more firmly into their algorithm in the future. Although I wouldn’t hold your breath for Yahoo! to overtake Google anytime soon, I do think that the influence of these social search teams at Yahoo! will be felt and that the relevency at Yahoo! (and thus search market share) will most likely improve in the future.
Henry Blodget does also seem to agree with Danny Sullivan’s view that I reported earlier that the quote also could have been more directed at the analyst community with the idea of lowering the bar to better shine next time. On a comment on John Battelle’s blog Henry adds: “Sue Decker is about as smart as they come, so I doubt this was a slip-up. The Street has been all over Yahoo about its relative search incompetence, and Yahoo has spent the last year promising to “fix the algorithm” and give Google a run for its money. I suspect the new communications strategy, at least with respect to the Street, is to try to set the bar low and then clear it easily.”