Outsell defended my critique of their Outsell 100 numbers by saying that despite the fact they’re comparing apples, oranges, pears and grapes, it’s all fruit.  And maybe when you dig much deeper into the numbers you can argue it’s all fruit.  (I wouldn’t.)  But from 30,000 feet, even a profitable $50 million trade publisher is invisible in a field that includes Google and Yahoo!  In the last quarter Yahoo’s fee-based business grew 61 percent; to $149 million in revenue.  Their fee-based business includes enhanced email and dating services…I’m not sure trade publishers and aggregators are competing with these slices of Yahoo.

Again, I think the Outsell team has a good a handle on the market as anyone.  But the industry has changed dramatically since the Outsell 100 has been established and I would argue that the industry’s metrics have changed as well.  If you look at the Laird Squared Business Information Services Fifty, you get a different, narrower view of the market but one that is probably closer to home to the people attending Buying and Selling eContent.  And of course these lists only include public companies.

For the BSeC audience, the important questions are who is effectively leveraging Google and Yahoo and who is seeing their businesses marginalized.  I think an updated Outsell Spaghetti picture would do the trick.