Google vs. Yahoo!

My New Year’s Resolution #9 is:

To reduce Google’s share of my web clickstream and my blog real estate.

Many readers have taken that to be some kind of Google hating on my part.  That’s not true at all.  I think Google is great and is clearly the most important player on the web right now.

But I have had this sneaking suspicion that much of Google’s leadership comes from its brand and positioning and not from superior services.  So I have resolved to get off my Google addiction and try the rest of the web, starting with the obvious choice, Yahoo!

I often think of the Avis slogan when I think of Yahoo!  It seems to me that Yahoo! tries harder.  They try harder to be open and inclusive.  They try harder to work with other companies.  They try harder to acquire interesting web services (Flickr, Upcoming, and Delicious for example).  Of course they have to try harder because they are number two, at least in the mind of web users when it comes to search, which is the starting point for most everything on the web today.

But let’s look beyond search.  Who is the leader in CPM advertising – Yahoo!  Who is the leader in personalization – Yahoo!  Who is the leader in behavioral advertising – Yahoo!  Who has the best web based RSS platform – Yahoo!  I could go on and on.  I like where Yahoo! sits and so I am going to give them some run to see how their services compare with Google.

I have started with search as I blogged about a week ago.  I have been using Yahoo! search exclusively since New Year’s Day.  And I have yet to see a reason why Google is a better search experience for me.

About a week ago, I added Yahoo!’s site search to this blog and put it above the fold.  I have been using it exclusively for the past week to search my blog and I can say with certainty that Yahoo!’s site search is a lot better than Google’s.  I often found myself having to get very specific with searches to find old blog posts with Google site search.  I find that Yahoo! gets the job done with much less work on my part.  So today I am taking Google site search off my blog and going solo with Yahoo!.  If my readers don’t like the Yahoo! search experience, let me know, and I’ll add Google back.

The next step for me is replacing Google’s Adsense with Yahoo!’s Publisher Network.  I intend to do that this week at some point.  I think this will be the hardest comparison for Yahoo!  Google has a very impressive business in contextual advertising, based largely on the strength of its Adwords service which used to be linked to Adsense.

But the fact is that Adsense doesn’t perform very well on my blog.  I earned about $1200 last year, roughly $100 per month, which all went to a non-profit called The Grameen Foundation which supports microlending in the developing world. My eCPM averages about $0.60.

I think the audience that reads my blog ought to be more valuable than $0.60 per thousand impressions and so I am going to see if Yahoo! can do better.  My bet is that they won’t.  But it will be interesting to see what they can do.

I have long said that this blog is a laboratory for me and so I am putting it to work to see whether Google’s leadership is more than perception. As always, I’ll keep you posted as I learn.

#VC & Technology