Thursday, September 11, 2008

Yahoo! challenges Google with Bigpond mobile deal? Really?

The Oz is reporting Yahoo! and Bigpond striking a deal for Yahoo! to power the Bigpond Mobile on deck search -,25197,24326440-26077,00.html

"The multi-year deal between Yahoo7 and Telstra's Sensis division means Yahoo's oneSearch technology will replace Sensis's search technology on 4.4 million Telstra BigPond 3G-enabled phones.

"Revenue from display and search advertising that appears on the mobile search service -- which will be accessible through a co-branded button on the content menus of all Telstra 3G phones -- will be shared between Yahoo7 and Sensis.

"The partnership will eventually be expanded to include Sensis's Yellow and Trading Post classified searches and Telstra BigPond content.

"Yahoo7 chief executive Rohan Lund said the deal was the most significant for the company in the mobile space and would give Yahoo's advertisers access to a much bigger audience."

Is this really much of a big deal. It definitely doesn't amount to a challenge to Google. Let's not forget Google is flogging Yahoo! in search globally and even more in AU.

People trust Google - they use it on their PC and will also use it on their mobile. It's questionable how much incremental traffic this will bring Yahoo! search and also about the real value/visbility it will give to its advertisers. It makes for nice PR but will it deliver much to their consumers - user/advertiser.

It's interesting to see the deals Lund is looking to strike - he is looking to build Yahoo! audience through distribution deals. It's not a bad play - it's generally cheaper than ATL marketing - and the new eyeballs generated can be added to the topline figure the large guys still like to throw around (we have 5m users etc) despite most marketers not caring anymore about topline network numbers.

Also, does this mean Telstra is putting Sensis search to bed? It's been a rough 4-5 years for Sensis search - it might make more sense to utilise Yahoo!'s better technology and enter into a revshare deal with them on advertising. Would cut a sh*tload of salary cost and they could no doubt negotiate a pretty good deal with Yahoo! as Sensis/Bigpond Internet distro could increase Yahoo!'s total search audience in AU by 50-100%.

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