Phew, what a week so far on the PPX! Our brand-new future-based prediction market already has 3,300+ active traders, and boy have they been busy making POP dollars. It's been incredibly interesting to see the early indications of the market, which I'm sure will begin to shift again as things get more settled.
One that I've been really surprised about so far, however, is GOOGL—the proposition that Google.com will be ahead of Yahoo.com in Alexa's daily reach metric at the end of the year.
As of writing, the price on this stock is a staggering POP$97.75; with a price of POP$100 indicating full market confidence in the prediction coming true, this means a whole lot of people have put their money on the big G. For me, though, this stock isn't so cut and dry.
In the Alexa graph above, you can see that over the past year, Yahoo.com has held the number one ranking strongly, with a few diversions here and there. This is because of two key factors some people may not be considering.
First, Yahoo is a portal, Google is not. Sure, you can personalize a Google homepage into a one-stop-shop with all kinds of useful information, but that is not its default functionality. When most regular users type Google.com into their browsers, they're presented with the same minimalist search bar and logo that has basically been the site's trademark since the beginning. Yahoo.com, however, is packed with, well, everything.
Second is Yahoo's web mail service's popularity. While it's hard to believe, being a Gmail user myself, that anyone could tolerate anything else, a huge amount of people still favor both Yahoo and Hotmail. Both have roughly 250 million subscribers each as of this February (see this TechCrunch study, day-to-day numbers are not made public), compared to Gmail's paltry (in comparison) 50 million.
Only time will tell what happens, but my guess is this stock is due for a restorative tumble. And what do we do when we think the price will fall, traders? Sell short. It took me a while to figure that whole thing out too, but mastering the short sell can give you incredible flexibility in the market.
If you're not already a member, head over to ppx.popsci.com to take advantage of this hot tip! —John Mahoney