Before Google's results come out, here's a couple quick points on Yahoo's
Semel has said his advertising business has two "brilliant children" (display + search). One of those is currently failing kindergarten, however.
Overture's lateness in copying Google's AdWords model is costing Yahoo a ton. They've been working on a revamp to the original Overture system for about 2 years. This is a subsidiary of Yahoo that has over 2,000 employees.
On this call, Semel has to admit that they are getting their ass kicked in paid search and he spends 5 minutes to offer additional caveats about how slow the rollout will be. This shouts how badly the Overture team is performing. I can hardly imagine how happy Semel must be about this.
I think this set of rationalizations implicitily dinging Google is just odd. Yahoo is getting killed by Google head-to-head. Here are some of the odd points Semel points too:
What do these points add up to - other than Semel's got a Google chip on his shoulder?
Interestingly, CFO Susan Decker gives a one-time smack-down to 3rd party search traffic statistics providers. She says Yahoo's search query traffic has been growing 15-20% each quarter for the last 3 quarters - contrary to what's been widely reported.
Schoolmarm-ishly, she says she's not gonna repeat this info every quarter. As I've argued before, the comScore's and Nielsens of the world are not really tracking what the big players are really seeing traffic wise.
Summary: Yahoo has a lot of good stuff going for it - primarily a dominant Mail platform, and a unique targeted display advertising model with huge volume. Imagine how strong things would be if they could fix their paid search problems. The hour is late, however.
Let's see how Google does later today.