We may be totally off-base here, but…as we reported on Yahoo’s strong earnings announcement yesterday, we started to wonder whether Yahoo is still the Internet bellwether company that people have always assumed. Clearly, when Yahoo is doing well, it’s a reflection of a strong online advertising market – a rising tide that presumably lifts all boats. But Yahoo’s stature as an Internet destination is becoming so dominant — 13 percent of the time that people spend on the Internet is at Yahoo’s site, the company said — that we have to wonder if isn’t a breed apart from most other Internet companies. With branded advertising, Yahoo is becoming a must-buy for big advertisers, but do other Internet companies benefit similarly? “When Yahoo puts up results like this, maybe you could analyze it and say that clearly the broader trend applies to (other Internet sector companies),” Standard & Poor’s Internet analyst Scott Kessler told us yesterday. “Their stocks are going to trade up. But to what extent is Yahoo stealing share from smaller companies.” A question to ponder during Ad-Tech next week.

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