Terry Semel: Google's No. 4

Posted by: Rob Hof on October 6, 2005

In a conversation with John Battelle at Web 2.0 this morning, Yahoo CEO Terry Semel is spending almost as much time talking about a little rival named Google as he did about Yahoo. The upshot, in his view: Google’s great at search, but not much else—a problem, he believes, because by his estimate, only 5% of page views on the Web are relevant to search.

Google’s photo-sharing, its email, and its shopping site Froogle, he notes, continue to trail others. “As a portal, they would probably be rated No. 4,” he says. And he doesn’t see a method to Google’s farflung efforts. “Maybe magic will happen tomorrow,” he shrugs. “Our strength is that we have a much more diversified model.”

Asked if Yahoo would provide a HotJobs feed to Google if and when the search giant does a job service that presumably would scour the Web for job listings, Semel doesn’t answer the question directly, but declares: “We’ll always be more open than they are.”

Reader Comments

Massimo Moruzzi

October 7, 2005 4:03 AM

yeah. Plus, Google doesn't have horoscopes.
How in the world do they think they can make it ?

Fritz

October 7, 2005 10:33 PM

If search isn't relevant, then why do so many websites depend so heavily on either organic search or search-based advertising?

FN

October 17, 2005 2:51 AM

Advertising is about eyeballs and it does not necessarily follow that it's only search that can deliver those eyeballs. Most folks do not spend 100% of the time searching. They spend maybe 50% or less. The other amount of time is spent in email, reading news, and whatever other interests a person has.

Google has proven the power of delivering fast, relevant search but it still lags Yahoo and AOL in packaging the other 50% of the internet experience.

Terry Semel is putting the pieces together with Yahoo! better than any other web portal.

Google still has great innovative technology but it's got to tie them together better to make itself more than a search page.

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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