Blatantly Copies Yahoo!? from Yahoo’s Jeremy Zawodny makes a pretty damning
case against Google for blatantly ripping off Yahoo’s Internet Explorer 7 promo
copy. Yahoo offers a custom version of IE7 via a pitch page you’ll see
appears to have launched its own
pitch page yesterday, one that was amazingly similar in look and feel to
Jeremy has the side-by-side photos of how the pages looked. Google’s page has
since changed. In many places, the copy was either identical or the word Yahoo
was simply swapped for Google.
At best, I thought perhaps Google was using some type of template page that
Microsoft was encouraging cobranded partners to use. Jeremy says that’s not the
Google’s Matt Cutts weighs in with his
own post on the
topic, damage control by pointing out how Yahoo has copied Google’s ad style,
Yahoo ads evolving to match what Google’s showing currently.
True. And Yahoo can easily point out that Google decided that paid ads made
sense after imitating GoTo (which Yahoo later bought), plus that Google got real
success with ads by moving to a CPC cost format rather than the CPM that they
If I had time and desire, I’d sit here all day pointing out similar things
that Google has copied from others, that Yahoo has copied from others, that
Microsoft has copied from others, that Ask has copied from others. There’s no
end of finger pointing that can be done.
I will say that I find a difference between mimicking user interfaces and
simply flat-out copying a landing page. If a particular user interface or
standard has evolved into a standard, I can generally back the idea that the
industry moves to that, regardless of who pioneered it. But just taking a page
and doing a search-and-replace? I cut less slack on that.