OK, I’ve really missed ranting about technology things for the past few weeks so I’m going to take a look at what’s going on over at TechMeme.
Jeremy over at Yahoo is always very honest about Yahoo’s shortcomings so it’s good to see him get to take a shot at Google even though the transgression is not exactly earth-shaking, more just a funny oddness that gets internet people all worked up. Google copied Yahoo‘s IE7 pitch page. (It was changed to this today or last night). Here’s a great graphic which shows the smoking gun evidence: http://chir.ag/stuff/yahoo-to-google.gif
Matt Cutts is a totally stand up guy and this is not his department but he’s Google’s ambassador to the blogging masses so it fell to him to address this. Now, you don’t dis Google or Matt may go Inigo Montoya on you. Matt’s lackluster “apology” sounded more like an attack on Yahoo’s own copycat behavior even though he noted that it was Robert Scoble‘s excellent advice – which was totally not taken – that led him to post about this. Robert suggested the Google peeples take out the Yahoo peeple for a fancy lunch in a limo, which would have been a neat PR gimmick.
This is superficially trivial but actually has deeper significance as a measure of the overall online sentiment about Google. Google is still in the driver’s seat with respect to most things internet but I’d suggest that we are now seeing a tendency for the knowlegeable users to reevaluate their relationships with Google, Yahoo, and even Ask and MSN. This reminds me in some ways of the days when Yahoo was totally in the online driver’s seat and Google – with clearly superior search – started to eat Yahoo’s lunch but still had only a tiny market share. Had Yahoo bought Google back then, rather than just using their search algorithm and helping to make Google the online behemoth it is today, the online landscape would sure look different. I’m glad they didn’t though because Google’s new approaches and “techno centric” business models have arguably done more to change the way we all do business than any other recent global business developments.
Ironically in this little debate is the fact that when Yahoo FINALLY figures out how to effectively copy the gist of Google’s contextual ad matching systems (adwords and adsense) we could see a huge change in the online search game as publishers would have more choice in who they align with.
Disclaimer: I’ve got some Yahoo Stock so I root for them to succeed even though I try to post honest comments about what’s up.