In what should really come as a suprise to no one, Terry Semel resigned as CEO of Yahoo! to be replaced in the interim by Jerry Yang, one of the site co-founders.

Susan Decker will become company president and most have their eyes on her with, frankly, great expectations.

While I myself have never run a multi-billion dollar corporation, it strikes me that putting a new driver behind the wheel doesn't automatically mean you have a new car, or a new race for that matter.

What can Yahoo do?

For starters, if it expects to compete in the search space (bearing in mind it was an aggregator at the outset, not a technology leader) setting up a barrier to entry with paid listings followed by paid inclusion, it can become more relevant, not necessarily in terms of results saliency, but in results currency. Yahoo! tends to lag in indexing. That should be remedied.

Secondly, hit the market hard with research and compelling data and do it with some frequency. Google hasn't solved commerce. Not with Froogle or Google Products and certainly not with Google Checkout, ebay would never have been willing to fire the shot across the bow that they did if that were the case.

And speaking of ebay, and of Ask. It's called advertising. Take a page from the Coke/Pepsi or beer annals. Saturate the market. Google isn't in that space, own it.

And finally, differentiate. According to an article today from PCAdvisor: Google & Yahoo battle in search roulette:

The most popular web search engines rarely deliver the same results when identical queries are performed on each site, and the disparity has increased over the past two years, new research has found.

Jerry Yang is a return to roots. Back to basics.

And it may well be a step in the right direction.

...Or not.

Have a good one.

~The (SEP) Guy