I had a meeting at Yahoo this week. The meeting was targeted at companies heavy into affiliate programs. We heard from a number of program managers, but because I am under NDA, can’t disclose all the great stuff they are working on. However, I will say these guys are not sitting around worrying about Microsoft. They are firmly focused on the future and presented an impressive list of products and upgrades. Most interesting was some of the stuff going on with PPC management and while I can’t be specific, I think I can say that managing PPC on Yahoo is about to get a lot easier.
I know Yahoo isn’t the shinning star of the industry they once were, but these guys get a lot of stuff right. Google has the search traffic and therefore the money and therefore the clout, but judging by Microsoft’s track record, they don’t have the stuff to make Yahoo better.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a Microsoft ‘hater.’ In fact I was a liaison to Microsoft when I was at Intergraph and spent a fair amount of time on the Redmond campus, they get a lot right. Tons of R&D and top people, but their leadership in office applications doesn’t currently translate to search or internet services.
So did Yahoo make the right decision? If I were a shareholder, I would probably wouldn’t think so. As a Internet marketing guy, I am glad to they didn’t merge this into Microsoft’s AdCenter mess. Yahoo had a business before the MS deal and it still does.
Yahoo has great people, product, and heart.