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September 11, 2007


Still Inside

I have no reason to doubt Comscore's numbers, but in situations like this I'd personally like to follow the money, not the page views. The "we use AJAX" thing might be FUD from YHOO, but it might be very real. Numbers like this can easily be explained by Comscore's definitions of "pageview" not keeping up with technology.

Money, on the other hand, can't be faked (or rather if it can, we don't care). Does Comscore or anybody else have any corresponding drops in revenue for these specific properties?

The next question is, if YHOO is losing ground in these areas, where are the users going? Are they going somewhere else, or are they losing interest altogether? Certainly the answer to that can tell us whether to short YHOO or the whole sector...



It's a simple issue: we are starting to see a flattening out of the total PC-based internet engagement in each of the more mature online markets (the same markets where the lion's share of ad revenue comes from). Each new internet "hit" (e.g., YouTube, MySpace, FaceBook, etc.) is now a net loss by the traffic incumbents. As a scale player, you need to ask yourself honest questions about your real ability to organically manufacturer a steady stream of your own hits (noone by Google and the Facebook franchise-model have demonstrated any real traction there). If you can't create new experiences, then will you be better than the rest at identifying and acquiring new hits at an early-enough stage? If not, you will be relegated to investment banker-led auctions, and the non-GOOG/non-MSFT folk all have pretty limited ability to pay those kind of premiums on a regular basis. Tough sledding ahead, given the lofty multiples several of these players are still trading at. It is hard not to be a bear on the incumbents' prospects at this point.


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Yahoo definitely has to get things together. Google is definitely way in front of them in everything.
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