What Job Listings Tell Us About Google & Yahoo's Future Plans

Earlier this week, Google (s goog)  announced its intentions to start an exchange for display advertising, an attempt to take on Yahoo (s YHOO) and its healthy position in the display ad business. This is a fairly big broadside by Google, whose seriousness is reflected by the company’s recent job postings, but it also reflects an urgency towards boosting the search engine’s revenues and profits.

Ben Schachter, an Internet analyst with Broadpoint.AmTech, recently noted that thgoogleyahoojobs.gife number of Google’s 2009 job postings is down 54 percent from last year, but those listed are focused entirely on display ads including advertisements for YouTube, Google Content Network, Exchange and TV.

Google is looking to figure out new ways to monetize YouTube. From what I have heard, YouTube is either close to or already profitable, thanks to Google’s ability to leverage its infrastructure. These hiring trends are in keeping with the company’s larger focus on boosting its sales across the board, as outlined by the company’s management in their conversations with Wall Street analysts. Google is also looking to make a more aggressive push on Google Apps, both locally and globally.

For startups, good news is that the company has multiple job openings related to M&A, Schachter writes. Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently told members of the media that the company is looking to go shopping. In sharp contrast, Yahoo is hiring people who have expertise in divesting assets.

Yahoo has renewed its focus on video offerings. The company’s job listings — down 47 percent from last year — show that it’s hiring people for content creation and editorial. That makes sense, now that the company has given up search and is embracing its role as a media company. Good news: The company is still hiring aggressively for R&D. Nearly 59 percent of all job openings in the company are in R&D vs. 74 percent last year.

We believe there are some very useful and telling insights from each company’s job postings. Google is clearly focusing on expanding well beyond text-based search ads. The company is hiring people around the world to focus on Google Apps and display ads (including video). Google is also clearly focused on the mobile opportunity, and somewhat out of character, the company is hiring more people to advertise its own products…Yahoo appears to be refocusing its efforts to improve its position in video and give its users access to social networks (though it is not looking to introduce its own social network)…Like Google, Yahoo is also focusing on mobile. Finally, both companies are hiring public policy personnel to advocate at the regulatory level, with Google leading the charge in hiring public policy advocates in many locations around the globe. (Broadpoint)