Yahoo!’s search updates offer a query-suggestion tool similar to Google’s, bold text in the search window, and apparently more kinds of content in the search results pages. There are no obvious changes to the sponsored listings, however, so it seems unlikely that the tweak will boost revenue per search. The only way this update would help the company financially, therefore, is by enticing users to do more searches–or, better yet, stop visiting Google for searches. This, too, seems unlikely.
Steve Jobs’ pep talk at the secret vice presidents’ meeting on Friday seems to have been absorbed, though. Here’s a jazzed up Vish Makhijani, senior vice president and general manager, on message in the WSJ about Yahoo’s new emphasis on risk-taking.
“Obviously, we have our eye on being No. 1 in search,” Vish Makhijani…said. “We’ll chip away. This was the first step. We’ll take shots, take chances.”
Unfortunately, the comment about being No. 1 in search makes it sound like Makhijani is also on peyote. Makhijani should probably demonstrate that Yahoo can stop losing search share before he talks about how it’s going to more than double it. Disclosure: I own Yahoo.