WEB BUSINESS GURU Carol Bartz, Yahoo's CEO has offered Google some strategic business advice.
Chief Yahoo Bartz told the BBC that Google has a problem due to concentrating its efforts on web search.
Apparently she thinks that her company's far more successful web search rival needs to grow by the size of Yahoo every year in order to remain interesting. Given the rapidly diminishing size of Yahoo, that shouldn't be too hard for Google to accomplish.
Bartz, who was paid $47 million last year for her efforts to turn the ailing web portal around, said 99.9 per cent of Google's business is in web search. Perhaps she failed to grasp that web search isn't really Google's primary business but rather just a means to an end. Google has grown to become one of the main advertising brokers in the world, on any media, with the firm's massive and market leading search engine simply allowing it to target those ads, providing greater value for money to advertisers.
Though Bartz lecturing Google on business strategy is almost as laughable as Steve Jobs talking about openness or the evils of cross platform development, Yahoo has posted favourable financial results recently. However, when Yahoo is compared against Google, it's hard to see why the Internet search giant would take any notice of a firm that had to put its fate in the paws of the Vole just to stay afloat.
The situation is tinged with more than a touch of irony, given that Google went, cap in hand, asking for money from Yahoo before it went public. At that time, Yahoo, close to the peak of its powers, declined. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Bartz's claim that Google needs to diversify more is all the more surprising given how much Google has already diversified its services and reach, as exemplified by its innovative success with the Android OS, Gmail, Google Apps, Google Earth, Chrome and its purchases of Youtube and Admob, among others.
Google retains about 70 per cent market share in web search, varying some by geographic region and country, and Yahoo would be thrilled to have anything approaching Google's revenues, or stock price.
Though Youtube and some other efforts have so far failed to turn in a profit, Youtube remains the top video streaming website by some margin and Google rakes in so much money that it can well afford to invest in ambitious development efforts and visionary projects.
Perhaps Bartz should navigate away from her firm's overloaded web portal's landing page and see what a company, seemingly untouched by the recession, is actually doing. Who knows, it might help her as she tries to turn Yahoo's fortunes around.
Or maybe Yahoo's board should decide that if Carol Bartz is strategising about how to run Google, instead of Yahoo, maybe she ought to go get a job over there. µ
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