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In Jerry Yang's relatively brief on-stage interview with SES host Danny Sullivan this a.m., Yang gave a high-level overview of where Yahoo is going with search and other features of the portal.

He spoke about more tightly integrating services across Yahoo! and beyond the desktop. He also discussed personalization in a broad sense, "Taking mass media and turning it into my media." So these remarks suggest a paradoxical movement (if I can say something like that). In other words, bringing together a broad range of services, tools and product features, but making them highly capable of customization or personalization.

I think Yahoo!'s current MySearch product is too complex for most users, but MyYahoo is a really interesting model of personalization/customization that I think is closer to what "personalization" will look like on a large scale. On the other side of the equation, Yang spoke about more and more targeting of advertising based on user profile information that Yahoo! collects.

Yang also pointed to local as a bright spot in the Yahoo! product line.

Separately, Yahoo! announced that it's rebranding Overture as Yahoo! Search Marketing Solutions (YSMS). Short term: little effect. Long term: may be significant with a more unified brand strategy, enabling the company to leverage the much better known (among consumers and SMEs) Yahoo! brand. It may also make Yahoo! Merchant Solutions more effective as a channel for delivering SMEs to YSMS (formerly Overture).

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