Yahoo services

International publisher problems

Katinka Hesselink 2006

I'm usually a yahoo-evangelist, though I also have some issues with the integration of the small-business accounts with the yahoo-toolbar (and other services). I use yahoo for my e-mail, my webhosting (this website), I use it's groups and even its toolbar. 

I live in the Netherlands and that puts me at a distinct disadvantage. The users of Yahoo are assumed to be US-citizens, so feedback forms, advertisement options etc. are all tailered to the USA. As I recently upgraded my webhosting account from yahoo geocities-pro to yahoo small business, I got a bonus of 100 dollars on their advertisement program. Or so I thought. The small print turned out to be that I had to be a USA business. Never mind that what I wanted to advertise was this website, which has a lot of USA visitors. Never mind that their advertisement competition (google-adwords) is international. Never mind that drawing national borders on the W orld W ide W eb is a futile exercise as even China is learning (they recently allowed wikipedia). 

Of course I had no intention of continuing their advertisement program after the introduction period. I just liked the idea of free PR, but permanently paying to get visitors is a bit strange for a website that doesn't sell anything. So perhaps yahoo had a point. Still the fact remains that recently yahoo showed a reduction in advertisement related income and google showed an increase in income from that area. I think that difference is likely to be based on that one fact: yahoo tries to live within national borders while google aims at a worldwide potential consumerbase. Since the latter exercise fits the web better, google is more successful.