Stuck in second place in search, Yahoo keeps trying to innovate its way back into a competition with Google. Yesterday, for example, Yahoo held a little event to announce “WOO,” a series of search product features built around the idea that the Internet is a “Web of objects, not pages.”
Our reaction: WOO? Huh?
Look, we’re sure WOO represents fantastic leaps forward, but the problem with Yahoo trying to innovate its way out of second place in search is that the appeal of search is that it is stupid simple.
Hey look, there’s a box in my browser. I type a word into it. Google finds that word on the rest of the Internet. Snarf.
Holding an event and telling reporters the future is “WOO” and spitting our jargon-y white board stuff like “Web of objects” isn’t going to move the needle for Yahoo or its shareholders. Merging its search advertisers with Microsoft’s and driving up prices in cost-per-click keyword auctions, however, might do the trick.
In the clip below, head of Yahoo Labs and Yahoo Search Strategy Prabhakar Raghavan tells BoomTown’s Kara Swisher “WOO” and tries to explain what it means.