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During the drastic change in the United States economy, Google began to nose ahead of its prime competitor Yahoo. In 2007, Yahoo changed it processes, from its strategy to its mission statement. Historically Yahoo was the grandfather of search engines until 1998, when Google stepped in with simplistic focus and changed the path for technology.
Although Google and Yahoo have the same audience, it can be argued that they have taken completely different directions in the last 5 years. This paper will detail the current mission, vision, social responsibility and strategic planning of both companies. It will also compare the direction of the companies and indicate the suggested need of improvement. Lastly, the paper will conduct a SWOT analysis for Yahoo!
Yahoo!’s mission is to be the most essential global internet services company for consumers and businesses. The mission statement clearly defines the goals and objectives of the company.
According to the company’s investor relations website, its vision resonates around being the premier digital media company which is focused on creating deeply personal digital experiences that keep its customers and users connected to what matters most to them, across systems and around the world (Yahoo Investor Relations, 2011). The company’s vision is customer-centered, concerned with delivering the digital experiences the customer way.
This statement has been changed multiple times, since the company entered business in 1994. As technology continuously evolves, Yahoo! continues to rethink and reformulate its strategies, as well as update its objectives and strategic decisions. In recent times, the company has announced the laying off of over 2000 employees with the aim to restructure its business into 3 core components.
Yahoo! recently announced a new business direction with the view to intensify its effort in its core businesses and redeploy critical resources to its most urgent priorities in line with current competition trends. The ultimate goal of this alignment was prioritize the needs of users and customers (Carlson, 2012). In this regard, Yahoo has attempted to join social media services and the company is working hard to maintain its presence in online advertising business (Deka & Lahkar, 2010).
To compete favorably with Google and other competitors, however, Yahoo! not only need to focus on tightening up its products and services but also to move forward with speed and lay much focus on the customer as the centre of its empire and revenue stream (Hof, 2008).
Social Responsibility is a great focus of Yahoo. In December 2010, Yahoo! started their campaign of “How Good Grows” to encourage people to do random acts of kindness and pass them on in attempts aimed at causing a ripple effect of good deeds. The campaign was truly a way to keep the company’s idea of spreading good actions, and about their first priority of keeping customers first as a way to create positive placement.
Currently Yahoo! is fighting to keep afloat due to stiff competition from competitors such as Google and MSN (Hof, 2008). Historically the organization has made choices that have triggered its fall relative to other companies such as Google. The decision to place a new CEO with the company is largely seen as a new dawn for Yahoo.
The new CEO aims to focus on what Yahoo has always been good – media – with the underlying focus to assist the company reposition itself in technology (Deka & Lahkar, 2010). Having the advantage of being the first internet search media and being the originator of ideas will strategically place Yahoo back into perspective in terms of facing and weathering stiff competition.
Google’s mission statement revolves around organizing global information and making it universally available and valuable to all. Not only is this a simplistic mission statement but it is also in complete alignment with the strategic initiatives of the organization. Google, founded in 1998, began and continues with an unsophisticated focus.
The company highlights 10 guiding principles to success, which include:
- Focusing on the user and all else will follow
- It’s the best to do one thing really, really well
- Fast is better than slow
- Democracy on the web works
- You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer
- You can make money without doing evil
- There’s always more information out there
- The need for information crosses all borders
- You can be serious without a suit, and
- Great just isn’t good enough (Google Company, n.d.).
Google has a vision of not only keeping their customers happy, but also their employees. The company’s desired to succeed assist it to focus on the strategic direction of the company as well as what its core company values have been since entering business. The company has indeed made each office comfortable for employees, from creating creative workspace to flexibility.
Google also has created a strong representation for them socially. On the social responsibility front, Google is actively involved in assisting populations across the world access renewable energy, environmental conservation and crisis response (Richardson, 2011).
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Although challenging, Google continues to strike the right chords in as far as maintaining the lead in technology is concerned. Google also strives to overcome the challenge of maintaining the lead in innovation and creativity by continuously creating new tools and applications for their customers and users.
The company focuses on one product or application at a time, perfects it and then move on to create the next. For instance, Google recently launched the Google Project Glass to demonstrate their innovative approach in pushing technology to the next frontier. (LaMonica, 2012)
SWOT Analysis for Yahoo!
The SWOT analysis is a fundamentally important component of strategic business planning and should always be implemented in concurrence with the preliminary creation of an organization’s business plan, mission and vision statement (Coman & Ronen, 2009). This section evaluates the SWOT analysis for Yahoo!
Strenghts: Yahoo! is arguably one of the strongest brands in internet advertising business. Online advertising business is tremendously profitable, implying that the company has a steady flow of income to keep its vital operations running and to maximize shareholders’ value (Deka & Lahkar, 2010). The shareholder value is also maximized by the fact that Yahoo! has a huge customer base of over 350 million users spread across the globe (Hof, 2008).
The company has not only managed to maintain an international business presence but has being at the forefront in designing personalized applications such as the Yahoo! Directory and My Yahoo! These applications have enabled the company to remain competitive as they provide customers with the latest information on the specific items of interest (Manber et al, 2000).
Weaknesses: Yahoo! has been slow to react to competitive threats from other search engines, predominantly Google and MSN. Second, it is becoming increasingly difficult for Yahoo! to differentiate its products and services due to stiff competition.
For instance, its search facilities are readily available on Google and MSN, and its news programming can be streamed free from CNN or BBC (Manber et al, 2000). Lastly, it can be argued that the future is uncertain for online advertising business as it is a new form of business with no agreeable performance benchmarks (Deka & Lahkar, 2010).
Opportunities: Yahoo’s biggest opportunity lies in penetrating the international market to boost revenues and increase shareholder value. Google, Yahoo’s main competitor, is busy carving markets and taking over businesses globally to solidify and maintain its competitive advantage.
Yahoo! has a real opportunity to penetrate highly populated countries such as China and India and maintain a solid presence there as these countries offer tremendous growth potential (Deka & Lahkar, 2010). The development of the Yahoo! Directory and other applications also provide the company with a window of opportunity for new business and income streams as organizations increasingly realize the need to advertise online (Hof, 2008).
Threats: Stiff competition from other service providers such as Google still remains the main threat for Yahoo. Owing to the stiff competition, the company has not only suffered from declining online advertising revenues but has failed to make a break through in popular social networking services (Deka & Lahkar, 2010).
Cultural specific variations could also affect Yahoo! in the future as developers and users from other nations become increasingly disjointed with USA based companies. Indeed, some countries such as China and India have developed their own search engines (Manber et al, 2000; Hof, 2008).
Carlson, N. (2012). Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson lays out his guiding principles for the turnaround. Web.
Deka, S. K., & Lahkar, N. (2010). Performance evaluation and comparison of the five most used search engines in retrieving web resources. Online Information Review, 34(5), 757-771.
Google Company. Ten things we know to be true. Web.
Hof, R. D. (2008). Back to the future at Yahoo. Strategic Decision, 24(1), 24-32.
LaMonica, M. (2012). Google’s Project Glass: You aint seen nothing yet. Web.
Manber, U., Patel, A., & Robinson, J. (2000). Experience with personalization on Yahoo! Communications of the ACM, 43(8), 35-39.
Richardson, J. (2011). Google: The renewable energy giant. Web.
Yahoo Investor Relations. (2011). Investor FAQs. Web.