Like TechCrunch I too noticed that Yahoo dropped like a rock today and wondered what that means for Silicon Valley. Why is Yahoo in peril here? Banner ads.
Ford, for instance, has literally stopped spending anything on non discretionary things. Just one company can have a huge impact.
So, what’s discretionary? Banner ads.
You know, those colorful banners that you’ll see on lots of sites, particularly old-school sites.
So, why isn’t Google seeing a huge drop like Yahoo did? Easy. Google’s income relies on text ads that only pay when people click on them.
Those “cost per click” kinds of ads are NOT discretionary.
This reminds me of the 1980s when I helped do the advertising for LZ Premiums, a now-defunct camera/appliance store in Silicon Valley. Advertising for us back then in the Mercury News was discretionary. We did it only when we had some money from a camera manufacturer that was slated for advertising. Our ad in the Yellow Pages, though, was NOT discretionary. Do that and your business would almost stop.
Google is the new Yellow Pages. If a business stops doing Google advertising it might as well just fire everyone and send them home.
That’s the difference between the advertising world today and the advertising world back in 1999.
Back then we didn’t have any advertising types that weren’t discretionary. Search the word “car” on Google for instance, and you’ll still see GM advertising there.
In a recession I think Google will even see MORE advertising as businesses get more desperate to find buyers.
Hint: banner advertising doesn’t bring buyers (at least not provably so). Text ads do.
Winner here? Google. Which is why Google is only down a couple percent today while Yahoo is down 13%.