Last week, after Yahoo's share price dropped when the company's profits failed to reach analyst's expectations, Chairman Terry Semel conceded in an interview with SFGate, "Frankly, Google has done a better job than us."
Bloggers are talking about Decker's comments under headlines like "Yahoo gives up quest for search dominance" and "Yahoo exec concedes defeat" and "Yahoo throws in the search towel". Here in the SFist Tech Labs, we've always been more of the glass-is-half-full type. Buck up, Yahoo! When the stock market hands you lemons, do something with it!
This could be the perfect opportunity for Yahoo to refocus its efforts as a web portal instead of simply another search engine. Google's search engine is what made it ubiquitous, but its commitment to innovation is what secured it as a company to watch. As Ars Technica's Ken Fisher said in his blog: "Investors should be on notice, however: it's not the market share that matters, but what you do with it." The same could be said for search engine results.
Yahoo is finally starting to show a consistent focus in its acquisitions and developments, instead of just being another participant in the search engine arms race. News, commercial, and personal websites are becoming more interconnected, and it's now possible to see dozens of different takes on the same story, from both professional and amateur journalists, within an hour after a story "breaks." This implies that search engine results are going to become less important than their context. It's not the information, it's what you do with it.