In a conversation with John Battelle at Web 2.0 this morning, Yahoo CEO Terry Semel is spending almost as much time talking about a little rival named Google as he did about Yahoo. The upshot, in his view: Google's great at search, but not much else--a problem, he believes, because by his estimate, only 5% of page views on the Web are relevant to search.
Google's photo-sharing, its email, and its shopping site Froogle, he notes, continue to trail others. "As a portal, they would probably be rated No. 4," he says. And he doesn't see a method to Google's farflung efforts. "Maybe magic will happen tomorrow," he shrugs. "Our strength is that we have a much more diversified model."
Asked if Yahoo would provide a HotJobs feed to Google if and when the search giant does a job service that presumably would scour the Web for job listings, Semel doesn't answer the question directly, but declares: "We'll always be more open than they are."