Yahoo! Reports 2005 Q1 Profits Above Expectations

Apr 19th
posted in

For its first quarter ended last month, the Sunnyvale, Calif., Internet giant posted earnings of $205 million, or 14 cents a share, up from the year-ago $101 million, or 7 cents a diluted share a year earlier. Excluding a penny-a-share gain on the sale of investments, latest-quarter earnings were 13 cents a share.

Revenue rose 49% from a year ago to $821 million on a so-called net basis, excluding the money Yahoo! shares with its paid search partners.

Wall Street analysts had forecast earnings of 11 cents a share on revenue of $797 million. : source

The stock market took a rather deep dive over the last week. Yahoo!'s stock is up 7% on the day. Google is trading in tandem, also up about 7% today.

Not too long ago Yahoo! announced that they approved buying back up to 3 billion dollars of shares. Last year they paid Terry Semel nearly a quarter billion dollars in stock based compensation.

Including traffic acquisition costs (money paid to traffic partners) Yahoo!'s quarterly quarterly revenue was $1.17 billion. If Yahoo! had to pay it's partners $350 million for traffic you can likely imagine that Yahoo! is also probably making a couple hundred million dollars from that traffic.

Their biggest traffic partner is MSN, who will likely be dropping Yahoo!'s services near the end of the year. The next couple days might be a good time to take some profits as Yahoo! will likely fall when MSN officially dumps their partnership. There is likely only one or two more quarterly reports before MSN makes the switch.

Yahoo! has a variety of revenue streams and is much less of a pure search play than Google, but paid search is their cash cow.

Of course I would not recommend taking stock advice from me ;)

Google Fixes 302 Error?, Tivo Chatting w Yahoo! & Google

302 Redirects:
Claus over at ThreadWatch is reporting Google may have solved their problem.

Tivo:
TiVo is in talks with Google and Yahoo over a possible deal aimed at bridging television and the web. The deal would likely be exclusive, which means whoever partners with Tivo may get stuck overpaying if a bidding war ensues.

Interview:
Of me. I could have answered a couple questions better. Interviewing people is an exceptionally easy way to build links.

It is fairly rare that marketers turn down an interview opportunity if you approach them nicely.

SEO Friendly Affiliate Programs:
May not be so friendly if you grow your link popularity too quickly.

Ethical SEO:
I got this great comment via email:

I think when people talk about ethics in business they are concerned about someone cutting into their profits or threatening their profits. It has nothing to do with human rights or suffering (which is wrong). Either way, business people will continue to talk about ethics all day - even while they own sweat shops - because sweat shops have very little to do with ethics.

That comment was the foundation for a quick article I just jotted down. Please leave comments and hate mail below. :)

Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions, Yahoo! Offers Free Sites

Apr 17th
posted in

Click Fraud Click Fraud Click Fraud

Clickity click click click...

In the past few days there have been a great number of articles, posts, and threads about click fraud. Today I woke up with an inbox that had a few emails about click fraud.

[update: Fantomaster found a blog about ClickFraud]

eMarketer says Click Fraud Is Starting to Scare Marketers

Advertisers should be able to opt in or out of advertising on specific sites.

Joe Holcomb, SVP at BlowSearch, recently wrote these articles:

Scott Blum, of Buy.com also has some type of click fraud patent.

News Losing Ad Revenue:
Despite the claims of PPC fraud Wall Street Journal was hit by lower ad spend, and yet financial ads account for 20% of online ads.

[update 2: Gary Stein found this 15 minute real audio file about the death of mass media advertising.]

This Wall Street Journal article (sub req) talks about Yahoo's small and nimble new search service which is outpacing most of the giants. Even Rupert Murdock knows he is behind the curve.

Other PPC News:
Yahoo! Buys Brazilian PPC Search Network

Google is testing placing a third ad in the premium position. BAD CALL. Andrew Goodman also feels their bid optimizer is a bad call.

ThreadWatch finds sites about cheap clicks and expensive clicks.

The Dow Jones Industrial average is down 4% in the last 3 days. Yahoo! will be announcing quarterly results Tuesday & Google will be announcing their Q1 2005 results Thursday.

.JOBS & .TRAVEL Domain Names, Spam Research Papers

.JOBS and .TRAVEL:
to come late 2005

Cheap Promotional Technique:
throw some political ad on Google. after you get a ton of press coverage say it was an accident.

Direct Answers:
Google adds direct answers to SERPs.

Keyword Research:
Statistically Improbible Phrases (found by Ploppy)

Words which rarely occur in a search index likely are more likely to be more descriminant than common words and thus likely have greater term weight.

Search Research & Spam Papers for AIRweb:
Intallment #1
Gary Price also stated that A Taxonomy of Web Spam (PDF) was recently updated, and they covered that in the forums here. Here is a list of some of the newer Stanford research papers.

Tailoring Technology:
Jeff Weiner, VP of Yahoo! Search, chats about search and customizing software.

Webmaster Radio:
Audio archives now online. thanks to StuntDubl

Good Forum Thread:
about Google's new patent.

Encarta:
accepts user feedback and editing, although I can't imagine it is as appealing to add content next to their ads.

Oil & You:
The Long Emergency

Cool:
Stor Troopers are back :)

Lots of Various Links

Hola:
Spainish Ask Jeeves

Lycos:
Lycos to use AlmondNet to target contextual ads

Who Owns Culture?
Webcast at 7pm Eastern tonight. Steven Berlin Johnson is one of my favorite writers, and he will be chatting with Jeff Tweedy and Lawrence Lessig.

Like Search Research?
DG's Desk links to a bunch of research papers.

SEO URL Tip:
this looks like a cool new blog about eBay, but why not spend the $8 /yr to buy a static domain name?

also, Gawker media lagunched Sploid. I think they come up with some pretty cool names.

Try Again:
Google alternate searches being tested? that or spyware...

Gel Conference:
April 28-29, 2005 New York City. Looks pretty cool.

Interview:
of MSN Search.

Across the Ocean:
apparently in the UK Online ad spend trumps airwaves

A Good Blog:
about social, legal, and economic issues.

Dirty Words:
Marcia. hehehe

Paris Hilton:
still looking for that video? view the Paris Hilton porncast podcast. you KNOW stuff is overhyped when a megacorp has Paris doing something.

Yahoo! Shopping:
rss feeds

VoIP:
AOL tries to be undead, launching a VoIP service. pricing structure hosed from the word go?

Click Fraud Class Action Lawsuit?

From the WSJ (sub req):

A group of advertisers quietly filed a lawsuit in February against Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and other Internet companies in a potentially important legal test of those companies' liability for a form of online-advertising fraud.

The plaintiffs, led by Lane's Gifts & Collectibles LLC, a Texarkana, Ark., retailer, allege that the Internet companies knowingly overcharged for advertisements they sold and conspired with each other to continue doing so. The plaintiffs are seeking to have their suit, which hasn't received widespread attention, certified as a class action.

The also named AOL, Ask, Disney, Lycos, LookSmart, and FindWhat in the suit.

The search engines have antifraud systems and sometimes issue refunds for bogus clicks. But they decline to comment in detail on the scope of the problem, exactly how they are fighting it, and any specific instances of click fraud, in part because they don't want to tip off fraudsters. That has fed some advertisers' fears that the problem is bigger than the search companies acknowledge. Estimates of click fraud run as high as 20% of all clicks on search ads.

Yahoo! has been making a strong run in the stock market for the last week, and Google is valued at 49 billion. Nobody has really challenged this issue yet. If this gets pushed it could get rather ugly quick for search stocks. Google makes 99% of their income from ads.

Yahoo! Term Extraction API Tool

The Term Extraction service provides a list of significant words or phrases extracted from a larger content. It is one of the technologies used in Y!Q.

Google Blogoscoped created a free auto linker tool, which makes adding on topic outbound links exceptionally easy. Am betting some people creating fake blogs probably enjoy the offering.

Part of Google's strong brand is PageRank, which now is of little use AND rarely updated. With all of these other good ideas Yahoo! Search is coming out with I am a bit surprised they are not providing and heavily promoting a regularly updated connectivity measurement service. Whatever happened to WebRank?

The Business of Search

Apr 3rd

MSN PPC powerpoint - states their PPC product is expected to launch later this year.

Google Outlines Plan To Spend to Expand

Yahoo! Poaches MSN Content Exec, meanwhile Aussie is still pounding on the table questioning their API motives.

Google Temporal Analysis Patent, Google 2004 Financials, Yahoo! to Disclose API Future?

Google:
Patent dealing with temparal ranking effects - Greg Boser called this "The most important SEO related document in the last 5 years."
2004 annual financials report

Yahoo!:
to give a clear API Answer? maybe

Search Awards:
Danny Sullivan's SearchEngineWatch announced the 5 annual search awards. Yahoo! wins the outstanding search service award.

Pages






    Email Address
    Pick a Username
    Yes, please send me "7 Days to SEO Success" mini-course (a $57 value) for free.

    Learn More

    We value your privacy. We will not rent or sell your email address.