Yahoo is currently taking some lumps for a slow down in a couple of sectors, but don’t try to extrapolate this to the industry at large. In a Business Week column Catherine Holahan indicates why the slump is due more to internal issues at Yahoo rather than some industry wide malaise.
What is pointed out in the column that is probably more interesting is the growing fragility of Yahoo’s largely banner dominated network, which has been a steady revenue anchor for the company for some time. Increasingly, online is improving the ability to put the right message in front of the right person in the right place at the right time with increased targeting options, either through behavioral targeting, online property targeting or demographic targeting. Banner distribution on a tired stable of portals isn’t fitting the bill in any of these regards. The behavioral targeting dollars are currently going away from the top 3 into smaller players like Tacoda and Revenue Science. Google has the edge in targeting ideal online properties through roll out of display in their AdSense network and MSN is definitely building a robust demo targeting platform in adCenter. Yahoo’s push back of Panama, which would at least even the playing field for awhile is definitely an Achille’s heel and the race is picking up here.
In the rush for ad spending accountability, Yahoo is starting to lag behind and that could prove fatal if they don’t catch up fast.