Yahoo-Google: Both Sides Win, But Google Wins More: Analyst

imageYahoo’s (NSDQ: YHOO) ad deal with Google should help it monetize certain queries better, but analysts have wondered whether Yahoo risks hollowing out its own ad business, as buyers view Google as a one-stop shop. Yahoo has been quick to dismiss the notion that the deal makes it irrelevant, and of course, Google will only have access to limited inventory. Along with the company’s latest 10-Q, the company put out a heavily redacted copy of its agreement with Google (NSDQ: GOOG). The one notable detail in there is that Google’s Adsense For Content may appear on third-party Yahoo affiliates, not just search results. It’s a logical extension: Just as Yahoo does a poor job of monetizing “long tail” search queries (due to its lack of scale), it can also use help on long tail content.

Jefferies analyst Youseff Squali thinks this presents a new risk for Yahoo: “Despite the quid pro quo nature of the deal, we believe Google will benefit disproportionately from this deal over time given the enticing opportunity to take a peek under the hood at Yahoo!’s non-search business, and the possibility to leverage those insights to improve its growing display business. If Google is able to provide better yield at the tail-end, Yahoo! could face increased risk of affiliates migrating to Google overtime.

He also brings up an interesting regulatory angle on this detail (note that the companies still haven’t received a regulatory greenlight): “Importantly, the broader deal with a search and non-search components could have a higher probability of clearing regulatory hurdles, in our opinion. Instead of denying a stand-alone search deal on the basis of Google’s dominant search market share, the regulators will be forced to evaluate this broader advertising deal where no single company enjoys a significant market lead.”

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