This week, an earnings report released by Yahoo! showed that its revenues for online marketing services via paid search fell by 19 per cent for the first quarter of 2011 compared with a year ago.

The firm blamed factors caused by its agreement with Microsoft for much of the decline, but one analyst has stated that the statistics are indicative of a wider problem within the company.

Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan observed that the "failure" of Yahoo! search revenues could not all be put on the Microsoft deal, highlighting figures that have shown earnings for the company steadily declining since 2008.

His analysis suggested that, although search-related page views on the site are up, the figures show they are not as valuable to the company as in the past.

"Even with growing traffic (if that keeps up), search-related revenues are heading south," he said.

The fact that Yahoo! is continuing to offer sometimes conflicting excuses for its performance also suggests that the company has little idea how to turn their business around, Mr Sullivan concluded.

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