Keynote with Jerry Yang

Mar 1, 2005 • 9:42 am | comments (1) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Search Engine Strategies 2005 New York
 

This is going to powerpoint free. Jerry Yang invented Yahoo! in 1994 as a directory. Danny said it is Yahoo!'s 10 year birthday and Danny had people bring out a cake for him. Danny said he will cut it up into 3,000 pieces for everyone in the Room and Yahoo will be having a party tonight that everyone is invited to. Yahoo is the granddaddy of Search. Danny asked how does Yahoo! stay innovative? He said there has been a lot of changes with Yahoo!. He said right away there has been many challenges for Yahoo! from day one. They always felt there was an intense competition from day one. So they have always looking towards innovation and how to compete. At Yahoo! they are not only focused on feature based innovation but looking at trends, i.e. more about relevance, more verticals.

Danny then asked what does he think is the better innovations in search at Yahoo? Jerry Yang answered that Yahoo!'s local product is great, the desktop product is good and his personal favorite is Y!Q (more on that at my blog or in the forums). Search is not just a destination by itself its more of something that is now being embedded.

Today Overture is now named Yahoo! Marketing solutions or something like that. How does this benefit the advertisers in the room? Jerry Yang said he feels the branding of Overture into Yahoo! is good, because when you think of search, that includes all of Yahoo! Its unifying the way we think of Yahoo! search. You will see Yahoo! to start developing more solutions to smaller publishers (my thoughts...hmmm, RSS, AdSense, etc.).

Today they released the Yahoo! Search Developer Network, they used to have the Overture API. Why?... He said that the more they can engage publishers and developers, the more Yahoo! can become a larger part of the industry. (my thoughts...UPS did this). Google API, now we have a Yahoo! API, this is great. Link building tools here we come. :) Good work Tim.

Danny asked will you start to monetize Y!Q? Jerry Yang answered that yes, it will be tied somehow to monetization. It is about putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

Danny then brought up RSS and ways to monitor Web sites, what about the blog tools themselves? Jerry Yang answered that they are doing this big time in Asia. Yahoo! feels the more they can do to generate, nurture and expand the blog content, the better off the search community is. Following up their experience with Geocities, you can look to Yahoo! to be open in leveraging these tools towards blogging. Part of Yahoo!'s focus is about a community aspect and that is what blogs are about, how do they tie this into the Yahoo! package.

How do you see personalization changing for Yahoo!? Jerry Yang said that the relevance of search is the main component of any search. He said its not just about algorithms anymore, like PageRank or Link Data. Its more now about personalization and tying into that preference based searching. This adds a tremendous amount of value. My Yahoo! is a piece of this but you will be seeing it more.

Danny asked Jerry Yang to look back 10 years. Jerry Yang thought a bit and he said the whole notion of search was essential from the Internet experience. If you look at it from the rest of the Internet, its pretty big. He said nothing surprised him from what happened and as it did. He said the only thing that did, was how fast this industry grew, even looking back three years.

Jerry Yang said the most appealing thing Yahoo! has done is that people trust Yahoo! and that the internet is playing a huge role in support for disasters, communities with blogs and that Yahoo! is part of people's everyday life.

Danny said that as Yahoo! grew they built Yahoo! Travel, etc. Yahoo! has so much. How do you see search linking all of this. Jerry Yang responded when people find one area of Yahoo! to use, and they choose not to use other parts of Yahoo! to use, its important for Yahoo! to encourage the user to use it. Yahoo! ID works amongst multiple Yahoo! portals and they leverage this to improve the Yahoo! experience. Jerry Yang sees this being used to improve search, any type of search. If your going through the music experience, listening an experience, to be a finding experience --- interesting. He said the conversions aspect is a huge point in search.

Danny asked what do you think is the most important thing to happen for Yahoo!? Jerry Yang said again, he thinks everyone should use Yahoo! Search. The dream for Yahoo! is to focus on the user base more then ever. Take mass media and make it "my media". The user proposition is so important to Yahoo! The question is, how does Yahoo! get there first.

Danny asked if he ever had an urge to go back and hand enter in sites into the directory. For old time sakes. Jerry Yang said he is no longer qualified to do so. He said its more about doing this in an open way.

That is it. Wish you an other successful 10 years!

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Comments:

Craig Danuloff

03/01/2005 02:46 pm

Larry King would have been proud of this interview. Softball questions, no follow up, a huge missed opportunity to actually talk about the issues impacting the industry.

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