Sometimes when the internet bores me, I like to punch in the URLs of old search engines from back in the day (late 90s), just to see what's going on with 'em. By and large they're all dead -- mainly just skins for establishes search engines, kind of the way AOL search is a skin of Google. Sometimes they try to retain the teensiest bit of value-add by using those URLs as a meta-search engine. So you can go to HotBot.com, and use it to either search via Yahoo or MSN or LyGo.com (?).
Anyway, I'm pretty sure that's the direction Yahoo is going now. Fred Wilson says the new deal with Google will allow the company to: "get lean, get out of businesses it shouldn’t be in. Focus on what it’s good at."
Well as long as Yahoo is "getting lean" why even maintain a search engine at all? Why is that a business it should be in? Shouldn't Yahoo Search just like AOL be another avatar of Google? Social networking? How about outsourcing it to Facebook? I'm not trying to be flip here, but I'm curious what it is that Yahoo is so good at?
Here's a thought experiment: If Yahoo didn't exist today, but then was completely invented from scratch tomorrow, would it be able to get any traction in this market? Would it be able to siphon users away from any other player, including AOL and MSN?
Personally, I don't think this deal is so bad for the internet, as some hyperventalists are making it out to be? So Google owns search advertising... big. "Evil" monopolies foster the environment for folks to really gun after 'em.
But yeah, Yahoo... I'm pretty sure this deal is the first step towards guaranteed long-term irrelevance, just another old search skin.