Is Yahoo Becoming the Social Search Engine?

Joe Lewis wrote an interesting opinion piece, positing that Yahoo’s focusing on social search in an attempt to outflank Google.

But that’s actually a positive spin on a negative situation for Yahoo. While it’s true that Yahoo has been doing significant development in terms of buying or building content sites powered by social networks, I don’t think that Google is doing any worse.

Consider Yahoo: Flickr, MyBlogLog, de.lic.ous, Konfabulator,,, webjay, jumpcut. And they’ve built Yahoo Answers and Yahoo 360 and the just announced Yahoo Pipes.

Google: Blogger, dodgeball, YouTube, MySpace (advertising & serach deal), YouTube, JotSpot. Built Google groups, Orkut, Public Calendars and Maps

So, is Yahoo outflanking Google? Not really. But since Yahoo isn’t making any significant growth in basic search against Google, the area that they are doing well in (social search) starts to look like their strategy. Ultimately, though, revenue comes from page views and advertising, and it’s unclear if Yahoo’s social growth will provide this.

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