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The slowdown in search advertising that prompted a collapse in Yahoo’s share price on Wednesday is not likely to have had any impact on search leader Google when it reports its latest earnings on Thursday, according to Wall Street investors and analysts.
Instead, Yahoo’s latest problems were seen as a result of its own struggles to boost the advertising income it generates from internet searches at a time when the overall search market remains strong.
Yahoo’s shares slumped by more than 20 per cent on Wednesday morning in New York, wiping some $9bn from its stock market value, following the news late on Tuesday that its revenues in the three months to the end of June, while meeting its own guidance, had fallen slightly short of the Wall Street consensus.
Most analysts estimated that while Yahoo’s branded advertising grew strongly in the latest quarter, its revenues from search engine advertising slipped compared with the first three months of the year.
“I think it’s more of a credibility issue for Yahoo rather than a fundamental problem” in the search business, said Youssef Squali, an internet analyst at Jefferies in New York.
He estimated that search revenue was down 5 per cent from the preceding quarter, though up 25 per cent from a year before.
Yahoo also said that a planned overhaul of its technology aimed at making its search adverts more effective, known as Project Panama, had been delayed until the fourth quarter of this year.
The delays in expected improvements to Yahoo’s search advertising business were “frustrating,” said Safa Rashtchy, internet analyst at Piper Jaffray, though he added that “there is little fundamental change in Yahoo’s business and … the model is not starting to deteriorate.”
Google’s share price largely escaped the downdraught in Yahoo’s stock on Wednesday as investors anticipated that its own latest earnings would continue to reflect the more effective monetisation of search engine queries that it has shown in the past.
Google is expected on Thursday to report net revenues of more than $1.6bn, reflecting growth of more than 80 per cent from a year ago.
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