Microsoft to buy Yahoo?

By | May 4, 2007

This is important news that got posted everywhere on the Web just a while ago. Word has it that Microsoft is planning to purchase Yahoo. A Microsoft purchase of Yahoo would be the biggest online takeover to date, with reports saying it might be a 50 billion dollar deal; more than what many decades old globalized MNC’s are currently worth!

If such a deal actually takes place, would it place a dent in Google’s armour? Or is this just to bump up the Yahoo share price and draw some temporary attention? There are many plausible outcomes to this proposed deal, possibly affecting the Web landscape in a big way. But why not…. for all webmasters at large?

  • New sites will be happier than ever, since MSN seems to love new sites and then dump them. Naw, just kidding. Truth is, MSN should get better if they learn a thing or two from Yahoo.
  • Crucially, all the Overture search data falls into Microsoft’s hands. Would it continue to remain free for everyone, or will it become a paid service (isn’t this Microsoft’s approach to nearly everything else)?
  • Social media traffic systems (Yahoo’s primary focus now) will be combined with Microsoft’s Windows, IE and technology marketshare to pose a big challenge to Google, particularly in the Asia Pacific region where Yahoo still reigns. Many social media and online mall users are fans of Yahoo, and this move will further strengthen it’s position in this sphere.
  • Google’s plan to dominate the Web (aka control webmasters everywhere) will have to be deferred, since Yahoo and MSN’s algorithm technologies can now be combined to pose a challenge to Google’s Page Ranking system. Webmasters will be caught in the middle of this. In case you weren’t aware, Yahoo’s indexing and ranking system is actually quite different from Google’s. Call it rivalry or whatever, but I know sites with tons of backlinks in Google will usually have much less of them in Yahoo, and vice versa. This is the pattern all along. So if Yahoo gets big again, would you focus on Yahoo ranking….or Google ranking? A point to ponder on.
  • YPN, which currently suffers from heavy teething problems and seems like an eternity to get out of Beta (maybe never) now could get a new lease of life. Picture this scenario – a Yahoo enabled and easy YPN signup feature for all certified Windows users, and there could be potentially more YPN publishers than Adsense publishers overnight. Possible?

I think this move to merge Yahoo and Microsoft could turn out to be the biggest change to the Web since the late 90’s dotcom crash, depending on how Microsoft moves. Both Microsoft and Yahoo have learned expensive lessons in the SE and marketshare war with Google (in which they have lost so far). If they combine and clean up their act, I can see Google having some serious competition, and for webmasters everywhere – having to readjust their bearings.

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