Yahoo Directory Shutting Down – What Comes Next?
Yahoo announced on September 26 that they will be shutting down Yahoo Directory on December 31 as well as Yahoo Education and Qwiki. In 1994, co-founders Jerry Yang and David Filo founded Yahoo (originally called “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,” believe it or not) and created the Yahoo Directory along with it, as a collection of sites by category. The Directory is different than searching for a site by using a keyword in the search bar, as the directory is a hand-compiled list of websites, relying on people to actually review, summarize, and organize websites.
The obviously antiquated look of the Yahoo Directory is just one of many signs that it may be past its prime
Yahoo has experienced a quarterly revenue growth of -0.05, while its direct competitor AOL has experienced growth of 0.12 and Google 0.22. According to the announcement Yahoo made on Tumblr, a review of the previous quarter led to the decision to do away with Yahoo Directory, Yahoo Education, and Qwiki. These are three of more than 60 products the company has discontinued over the past two years.
There are clear reasons for Yahoo to make these changes. Yahoo Education is no longer relevant; there are several other alternative online resources that are better suited for this type of resource. Qwiki was an app that automatically created short movies based on events, and was acquired by Yahoo just last July for $50 million. It appears that even though Yahoo is shutting down the app they want their team to work on something new and better. The Yahoo Directory has had its time, and it is just time to get rid of some of the old.
What do these changes mean for the future of Yahoo?
Yahoo is taking a small step in the right direction by making these changes. With the prevalence of listing sites like Yelp and Eventup, it is too easy to just type in any random keyword to get the exact results you are looking for. This move away from the Directory gives Yahoo a huge opportunity to focus their efforts elsewhere and try to increase their revenues to give them a better advantage against their competitors.
Reallocating the work done by the teams who worked in these areas can change the way they play the game. The Directory team can work further on increasing interest for ads on Yahoo and algorithms for search results. Yahoo has stated that all advertisers currently advertising on Yahoo directory will be upgraded to a new service, though specific details are as of yet unclear.
It will be interesting to see if these changes make a difference in the future of Yahoo to give them a fair chance to compete.
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