Tag Archives: Yahoo

Google to Power Yahoo! Search Results….again

21 Oct

When you’ve been in this space long enough, you get a chance to see history repeating itself so when Yahoo announced a search deal for Google to power Yahoo search results, there was a strong element of deja vu involved.  Back in 2000 nearly the same deal was announced.

But here in the present, Google will provide web search results, search ads and image search services for an unspecified number of Yahoo user queries, on desktop and mobile platforms.

According to the regulatory filing, the non-exclusive deal, renegotiated nearly 6 years earlier between Yahoo and Microsoft, allows Yahoo to continue work with multiple partners.

Here’s an excerpt from the filing describing Yahoo’s agreement with Google.

“On October 19, 2015, Yahoo! Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Yahoo”), and Google Inc., a Delaware corporation (“Google”), entered into a Google Services Agreement (the “Services Agreement”). The Services Agreement is effective as of October 1, 2015 and expires on December 31, 2018. Pursuant to the Services Agreement, Google will provide Yahoo with search advertisements through Google’s AdSense for Search service (“AFS”), web algorithmic search services through Google’s Websearch Service, and image search services. The results provided by Google for these services will be available to Yahoo for display on both desktop and mobile platforms. Yahoo may use Google’s services on Yahoo’s owned and operated properties (“Yahoo Properties”) and on certain syndication partner properties (“Affiliate Sites”) in the United States (U.S.), Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Middle East, Africa, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, Peru, Australia and New Zealand.

Under the Services Agreement, Yahoo has discretion to select which search queries to send to Google and is not obligated to send any minimum number of search queries. The Services Agreement is non-exclusive and expressly permits Yahoo to use any other search advertising services, including its own service, the services of Microsoft Corporation or other third parties.”
The regulatory filing notes that Yahoo and Google “have agreed to certain procedures with the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice” to review the agreement, “including delaying the implementation of the Services Agreement in the U.S. in order to provide the DOJ with a reasonable period of review.” Antitrust problems derailed an earlier deal reached by Google and Yahoo back in 2008.

The EU and India may also voice potential regulatory concerns as well.

Google dominates the U.S. search market, with nearly 63 percent of the search market, compared to 21 percent for Microsoft and 12 percent for Yahoo. Yahoo’s market share has slipped regularly since signing the original deal with Microsoft.

Google Loses Market Share, Small Biz PPC Spend Up

24 Nov

According to WebVisible, the current break down of search share is:

Google: 60.4 %

Yahoo 26.2%

Bing 10.5%

Ask 2.4%

Continuing from the WebVisible report:

“Small Businesses Increase Spend by 91 Percent Generally, small businesses are buying more keywords and dramatically increasing their paid search budgets when compared to last year, according to WebVisible. First off, the average small business purchased 55 keyword phrases in Q3, which is up 30 percent from Q3 2008’s median number of 43. That statistic represents the high-water mark for the four quarters that WebVisible has been tracking small businesses keyword buys. Meanwhile, businesses dedicated an average of $1,658 to search ads, 91 percent more than Q3 2008. And business-to-consumer professional services appear to be the busiest in terms of collecting local sales leads via SEM. Attorneys and dentists made up the top two advertiser categories, with 7.7 percent and 5 percent of total small advertisers, respectively. Each of the two categories invested far more than average, spending $2,560 and $2,005 respectively in Q3. Air conditioning services and physicians/surgeons were the only other categories that accounted for more than 2 percent of search advertisers. Overall, the research suggests that the small business search advertisers are a varied bunch. The top 20 categories accounted for only 36 percent of total dollars spent. Thirty-two percent of search clicks resulted in a “lead conversion,” meaning the viewer either clicked through to a landing page on the advertiser’s Web site, printed a landing page, watched a video, printed out directions, entered an e-mail address, inquired via e-mail, or completed an online form. Clicks to the Web site were far and away the biggest lead conversion type, coming in almost twice as high as the next three categories: printed landing pages, submitted e-mail inquiries, and printed driving directions. For small businesses utilizing a call tracking number, 4.5 percent of the clicks resulted in a call, a 3.6 percent lift from 2008. No material differences occurred among advertisers in terms of CTR or proportion of lead conversions. However, WebVisible said that cost-per-clicks and keyword counts tended to increase with rising spend levels.”

 

Quite a shift!  From a merchant’s perpsective this is a double edged sword. When Google had 75-80% of the marketshare, an arguement could be made to neglect MSN and Yahoo and focus on having the best possible Google ppc campaign. Now that is no longer true. That may put a lot of strain on merchant’s paid search team to manage additional campaigns.

But, with the growing market share of Bing and to a lesser extent Yahoo, merchants who can act quickly and more nimbly then larger orginizations may be able to take advantage and grab a disproportionate share of these other engines at reduced costs.

Q2 Advertisers Down on Search Engines, MSN down 20%

10 Sep

Advertiser number  for three major search engines lower in Q2, with MSN’s  down nearly 20 percent. Google was down6.4 percent while Yahoo’s increased slightly  .o3% . 12 month advertiser growth for Google, Yahoo, and MSN were -8.5 percent, +9.8 percent, and -6.7 percent, respectively.

Microhoo, Icahn & SEC

16 May

So at this point everyone knows that MSN has taken its (multi-billion$) ball and gone home. 

Well, well-known financier, activist, billionaire, all around guy your mom wanted you to be is stepping up and putting his $$$$$$ where his mouth is. He has bought 59 million Yahoo shares in the last ten days, forming a $1.6 billion stake in the company, and he’s seeking regulatory approval to increase that stake to $2.5 billion.  He wants Yahoo to accept the MSN offer and is putting up his own candidates for the Yahoo! board.

Oh and he didn’t own any Yahoo stock as of March 31, 2008. (you do have 1.6b in your couch cushions don’t you?) That’s a cool $500 million in net gains if Microsoft’s $33 per share is accepted.

 

 

Yahoo’s snap back to the SEC:

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 8-K
CURRENT REPORT
Pursuant to Section 13 OR 15(d) of The Securities Exchange Act of 1934
Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): May 15, 2008
Yahoo! Inc.

 

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

         
Delaware   000-28018   77-0398689
         
(State or other jurisdiction
of incorporation)
  (Commission
File Number)
  (I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)

     
701 First Avenue
Sunnyvale, California
  94089
     
(Address of principal executive offices)   (Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (408) 349-3300
Not Applicable

 
(Former name or former address, if changed since last report.)
Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions:
     
o   Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)
     
þ   Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)
     
o   Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))
     
o   Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))
 
 

 

 


 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

                 
  Item 8.01 Other Events.
  Item 9.01 Financial Statements and Exhibits.
SIGNATURE
EXHIBIT INDEX
EXHIBIT 99.1

 


Table of Contents

     
Item 8.01   Other Events.
On May 15, 2008, Yahoo! Inc. (the “Company”) issued a press release announcing today that it had sent a letter to Carl Icahn in response to his announcement regarding his intention to nominate a slate of ten directors to the Company’s Board of Directors at the 2008 annual meeting of stockholders.
A copy of the press release, including the full text of the letter, is filed with this Form 8-K and attached hereto as Exhibit 99.1.

     
Item 9.01   Financial Statements and Exhibits.
(d) Exhibits .

         
Exhibit    
Number   Description
       
 
  99.1    
Yahoo! Inc. Press Release dated May 15, 2008.

 

 


Table of Contents

 

SIGNATURE
     Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.
         
  YAHOO! INC.
(Registrant)
 
 
  By:   /s/ Michael J. Callahan    
    Name:   Michael J. Callahan   
Date: May 15, 2008    Title:   Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary   
 

 

 


Table of Contents

 

EXHIBIT INDEX

         
Exhibit    
Number   Description
       
 
  99.1    
Yahoo! Inc. Press Release dated May 15, 2008.

 

 

Exhibit 99.1
YAHOO! RESPONDS TO CARL ICAHN’S INTENTION TO NOMINATE
CANDIDATES FOR ELECTION TO YAHOO!’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS
SUNNYVALE, Calif., May 15, 2008 — Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq: YHOO), a leading global Internet company, today sent the following letter in response to Carl Icahn’s announcement regarding his intention to nominate a slate of ten directors to Yahoo!’s board of directors at the 2008 annual meeting of stockholders.
Dear Mr. Icahn:
We are in receipt of your letter with regard to your intention to seek control of Yahoo!’s board of directors.
Unfortunately, your letter reflects a significant misunderstanding of the facts about the Microsoft proposal and the diligence with which our board evaluated and responded to that proposal. A fair-minded review of the factual record leads to one conclusion: that Yahoo!’s ten-member board, comprised of nine independent directors along with Yahoo! CEO Jerry Yang, remains the best and most qualified group to maximize value for all Yahoo! stockholders.
Conversely, we do not believe it is in the best interests of Yahoo! stockholders to allow you and your hand-picked nominees to take control of Yahoo! for the express purpose of trying to force a sale of Yahoo! to a formerly interested buyer who has publicly stated that they have moved on. Please may I remind you that there is currently no acquisition offer on the table from that company or any other party. That said, we have been crystal clear in our stance that we have been and remain willing to consider any proposal from any party including Microsoft if it offers our stockholders full and certain value.
From the beginning of the process with Microsoft, Yahoo!’s independent directors focused on one central goal: how best to maximize stockholder value. At all times directing this process, Yahoo!’s independent directors carefully considered Microsoft’s initial unsolicited proposal, which was at the time valued at $31 per share. After considering input from its financial advisers the board unanimously concluded that Microsoft’s proposal significantly undervalued Yahoo! and was, therefore, not in the best interests of the company or our stockholders. While we rejected this offer publicly on February 11, 2008, we could not have been more clear in that communication and in every subsequent communication, both public and private, that we were and are willing to enter into any transaction that would maximize value for stockholders and provide them certainty of value.
The record of our efforts to engage Microsoft in meaningful discussions is unequivocal. Following receipt of Microsoft’s proposal on January 31, our board of directors has met over twenty times to review Microsoft’s proposal and Yahoo!’s other strategic alternatives. Throughout this process our board kept an open mind and an open ear. Our independent directors met with several of our largest stockholders to solicit their views

 

 


 

 

and to make it clear that Yahoo!’s independent board is fully committed to maximizing stockholder value. In addition, at the direction of our board, our management team met with many of our investors to provide insight into Yahoo!’s strategy and views on value.
Our board’s openness also extended to Microsoft. Without reciting all of the contacts between us and between our advisers, the senior-most management of Yahoo! and Microsoft and the companies’ respective financial advisers spoke on numerous occasions and met in person seven times. During those meetings, Yahoo! discussed its strategic objectives in search and display advertising monetization, its perspectives on operating strategy and integration in a transaction with Microsoft, its perspectives on transaction synergies, and other non-price deal terms. Because certainty of closing is a critical issue, we sought to understand Microsoft’s thinking with regard to the regulatory issues associated with a potential transaction. In fact, at the board’s direction, our lawyers on March 28 asked for additional information in this regard, information which was never forthcoming.
On April 15 th , a meeting was held at Yahoo!’s request. At that meeting, which included our respective financial advisors, we made clear, once again, that we were open to a transaction with Microsoft. During those discussions, Yahoo! made a detailed presentation of its strategic and financial plan, its thoughts on integration and its view with respect to the potential synergies that could be achieved in a transaction, essentially laying the foundation for Microsoft to understand—and respond to—our board’s conclusion that Microsoft’s offer substantially undervalued the company. Following that meeting we also provided to Microsoft a list of key non-price deal terms that our board believed were critical items to be addressed in a deal to provide reasonable protections for our stockholders.
Throughout this period, Microsoft continued to state that it would not raise its offer, and even suggested that it could lower it.
Despite this failure by Microsoft to respond in any substantive way to any of Yahoo!’s requests, on May 2 nd , the same day we first learned of Microsoft’s apparent willingness to increase its proposal to $33 (although this oral “offer” was never delivered in writing and did not include details of a cash/stock mix), our board determined to continue discussions, instructing Jerry Yang to indicate to Microsoft that we would be prepared to enter into a transaction that valued Yahoo! at $37 per share and that provided reasonable certainty of value and certainty of closing. This was communicated to Microsoft in-person at a meeting in Seattle on May 3rd. With Microsoft’s offer at $33 and Yahoo!’s counter-proposal at $37, Microsoft elected, within hours, to walk away from the negotiating table and informed us that they were “moving on,” having never engaged further on price or any of the key non-price deal terms.
In short, Yahoo!’s board was at every point in this process prepared to enter into a transaction with Microsoft that would maximize stockholder value—and included certainty of value and closing. What Yahoo!’s independent board refused to do was to allow control of this company to be acquired for less than its full value.

2

 


 

 

That brings us to today. Our business is performing well as evidenced by our first quarter results. As we have publicly stated, our board continues to actively and expeditiously explore strategic alternatives to maximize stockholder value. None of the alternatives we are considering would preclude us from entering into a transaction with Microsoft or any other party.
We continue to believe that Yahoo!’s current board has the independence, the knowledge, and the commitment to navigate the Company through the rapidly changing Internet environment and to deliver value for Yahoo! and its stockholders.
We look forward to a productive dialogue.
Very truly yours,
Roy Bostock
Chairman of the Board
About Yahoo! Inc.
Yahoo! Inc. is a leading global Internet brand and one of the most trafficked Internet destinations worldwide. Yahoo! is focused on powering its communities of users, advertisers, publishers, and developers by creating indispensable experiences built on trust. Yahoo! is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For more information, visit pressroom.yahoo.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This release (including without limitation the statements and information in the letter quoted in this press release) may contain forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties concerning Yahoo!’s projected financial performance as well as Yahoo!’s strategic and operational plans. Actual results may differ materially from those described in this press release due to a number of risks and uncertainties. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the implementation and results of Yahoo!’s ongoing strategic initiatives; Yahoo!’s ability to compete with new or existing competitors; reduction in spending by, or loss of, marketing services customers; the demand by customers for Yahoo!’s premium services; acceptance by users of new products and services; risks related to joint ventures and the integration of acquisitions; risks related to Yahoo!’s international operations; failure to manage growth and diversification; adverse results in litigation, including intellectual property infringement claims; Yahoo!’s ability to protect its intellectual property and the value of its brands; dependence on key personnel; dependence on third parties for technology, services, content and distribution; general economic conditions and changes in economic conditions; and potential continuing uncertainty arising in connection with the withdrawal of Microsoft’s unsolicited proposal to acquire Yahoo!, and the announced intention by a stockholder to seek control of our Board of Directors, the possibility that Microsoft or another person may in the future make another proposal, or take other

3

 


 

 

actions which may create uncertainty for our employees, publishers, advertisers and other business partners, and the possibility of significant costs of defense, indemnification and liability resulting from stockholder litigation relating to the Microsoft proposal. More information about potential factors that could affect Yahoo!’s business and financial results is included under the captions “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” in Yahoo!’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007 and the Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2008, which are on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and available at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov . All information in this release is as of May 15, unless otherwise noted, and Yahoo! does not intend, and undertakes no duty, to update or otherwise revise the information contained in this release.
Important Additional Information
Yahoo! will be filing a proxy statement with the SEC in connection with the solicitation of proxies for its 2008 annual meeting of stockholders. Stockholders are strongly advised to read Yahoo!’s 2008 proxy statement when it becomes available because it will contain important information. Stockholders will be able to obtain copies of Yahoo!’s 2008 proxy statement and other documents filed by Yahoo! with the SEC in connection with its 2008 annual meeting of stockholders at the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov or at the Investor Relations section of Yahoo!’s website at http://www.yhoo.client.stockholder.com. Yahoo!, its directors and its executive officers may be deemed participants in the solicitation of proxies from stockholders in connection with Yahoo!’s 2008 annual meeting of stockholders. Information concerning Yahoo!’s directors and officers is available in its Form 10-K/A for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007, filed with the SEC on April 29, 2008.
# # #
Yahoo! and the Yahoo! logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Yahoo! Inc. All other names are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
Media Contacts:
Brad Williams
Yahoo! Inc.
(408) 349-7069
bhw@yahoo-inc.com
Adam Miller / Winnie Lerner
The Abernathy MacGregor Group for Yahoo! Inc.
(212) 371-5999
alm@abmac.com / wal@abmac.com
Investor Contact:
Marta Nichols
Yahoo! Inc.
(408) 349-3527
mnichols@yahoo-inc.com

Yahoo 2.0

28 Apr

Yahoo Inc is looking to revamp itself and improve its position in th emarketplace, and not so co-incidentally insulate itself from a $44 billion MSN buyout offer. Yahoo plans on leveraging its content and portal so that users can manageinformation about themselves in a single place and share it 2.0 style.

“We are not building another social network,” Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh told more than 1,000 attendees at the Web 2.0 Expo conference in San Francisco on Thursday. “We are building social into everything we do.”

 “Yahoo Open Strategy” due out later this year, is Yahoo’s plan on positioning themselves in light of Myspace and Facebooktremendous growth. Yahoo’s plan would give users simple privacy controls to limit what data users reveal about themselves.

“We are going to unify all profiles throughout Yahoo,” said Balogh, whose appointment as Yahoo’s CTO was announced on January 29, a day before Microsoft first proposed its $31 per share cash and stock offer to merge with Yahoo.

Balogh estimated there are more than 10 billion latent social connections that exist between Yahoo’s 500 million monthly users in the form of e-mail addresses, instant message buddy lists, address books and other shared connections.

Dept. Of Justice Reviewing Yahoo & Google Test

24 Apr

From Reuters:The U.S. Justice Department is investigating possible antitrust implications of Google’s two-week test with Yahoo to combine some of their Web search and advertising business, a source informed about the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.

Google and Yahoo separately told Reuters they had informed the Justice Department about their test before it was launched.

 

In the test, which ends this week, Yahoo uses Google’s advertising system to show ads to Yahoo users based on their searches.

 

The Justice Department is concerned the test may violate antitrust law, the source said, adding that authorities “have initiated an investigation” of it.

 

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said some of the government’s concern focused on a telephone call from Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt to Yahoo Chief Executive Jerry Yang to offer help in thwarting Microsoft’s bid worth around $44 billion.

 

The test was one of a series of efforts by Yahoo to fend off Microsoft’s unwelcome bid.

 

A second source said the Justice Department was concerned about a longer-term deal between Google and Yahoo, and had an initial inquiry underway into the matter.

Yahoo Serving Up Limited Adsense

9 Apr

Yahoo released a pres release with details regarding their new (old) relationship with Google.”it will begin a limited test of Google Inc.’s AdSense for Search service, which will deliver relevant Google ads alongside Yahoo!’s own search results. The test will apply only to traffic from yahoo.com in the U.S. and will not include Yahoo!’s extended network of affiliate or premium publisher partners. The test is expected to last up to two weeks and will be limited to no more than 3% of Yahoo! search queries.

As previously announced, Yahoo!’s board of directors is exploring strategic alternatives to maximize stockholder value, including exploration of potential commercial business arrangements. The Company noted that the testing does not necessarily mean that Yahoo! will join the AdSense for Search program or that any further commercial relationship with Google will result. The Company further stated that it would not comment on the nature or timing of any potential relationship.”

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