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Yahoo's Week Of Newspaper And Peanut Butter

It had good news in its deal for job listings, but it has plenty of problems left to solve, as a leaked memo from one executive shows.

Yahoo struck an impressive deal last week with seven newspaper companies to create an online jobs network. But the week also highlighted the considerable work Yahoo still faces to better compete with Google for online ads.

The companies, which have 150-plus newspapers, including the Dallas Morning News, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and San Jose Mercury-News, will post their job listings exclusively on Yahoo's HotJobs service, which also will ship listings to newspaper sites. The newspapers will end any deals with rivals such as CareerBuilder.com and Monster.com.

Yahoo CEO Terry Semel may need to lay it on less thick. -- Photo by Larry Burton/Gamma Press

Semel may need to lay it on less thick.

Photo by Larry Burton/Gamma Press
Besides job listings, Yahoo and the newspaper chains also will distribute news and other content to each other's sites and share revenue from related ads. But that part's not exclusive. So, for example, Google can continue powering Web search for the San Francisco Chronicle's site. Exclusive news distribu-tion would've made the deal a blockbuster, since both Yahoo and Goo-

gle are trying to find ways to reach the local businesses that aren't big Web advertisers. Yahoo's online search ad system, which recently was upgraded, doesn't match the sophistication of Google's.

Meantime, Google keeps gaining search market share. Its sites processed 45.4% of U.S. search queries in October, compared with 39% a year ago, says comScore. Yahoo processed 28.2% of queries, down from 29.2%, while Microsoft's share fell to 11.7% from 14.6%.

The other news for Yahoo last week was a Wall Street Journal story on the "peanut butter memo," a call by a senior VP Brad Garlinghouse to cut staff 20% and for CEO Terry Semel to focus on fewer initiatives more effectively--lest its strategy be like spreading peanut butter too thinly.

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