Jonathan Thaw at Bloomberg News:
Yahoo! Inc., one of the first Internet search companies, has capitulated to Google Inc. in the battle for market dominance.
“We don’t think it’s reasonable to assume we’re going to gain a lot of share from Google,” Chief Financial Officer Susan Decker said in an interview. “It’s not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share.”
Yahoo!’s comments underline the difficulties any Internet company faces in trying to challenge Google’s dominance of the Web search industry. Google has at least double the market share of Yahoo! and Microsoft Corp. in Internet search, the largest and most profitable segment of online advertising.
Danny Sullivan comments at SearchEngineWatch.com:
It’s important to note that Decker’s talking about search market share. Yahoo may not think it possible to overtake Google in terms of actual searchers, and saying that up front lowers some expectations among investors that are expecting to see gains.
Still, if Yahoo’s not expecting to overtake Google — and it’s the firm number two player — it doesn’t speak much to MSN’s chances to rise.
As I said in the Bloomberg article, it still seems like you would want being number one as a goal, even if you think it may be unrealistic or one that will take a long time to achieve.
Sullivan’s rationale is the only one that seems plausible – by saying this the company avoids complaints that it is not gaining against Google.