Yahoo said Sept. 16 it will refresh its Yahoo Search and Yahoo Mail capabilities this fall, seeking to boost user engagement and sales versus Google and search partner Microsoft.
Yahoo, the maligned Internet company, found itself in
familiar territory during its Product Runway
press event Sept. 16.
The company, once the gold standard of Internet portals where
early Web adopters feasted on news and other information,
pulled back the curtain
on new search user interface tools and a snappier Yahoo
While this would be promising for any other Internet company,
it feels like more of the same from Yahoo, which is trying to spark the right
combination of innovation and enthusiasm that lead to growth enjoyed by Google,
Facebook and Twitter.
Despite boasting some 622 million total users, Yahoo needs a
hit. Yahoo itself admitted
user engagement was down, with fewer unique visitors flocking
there when they can go to Google, Facebook or Twitter to satisfy their search and social networking
Yahoo's 2008 revenue was $7.2 billion, dropping to $6.5
billion last year. This year, growth looks flat versus 2009,
The evidence points to Yahoo having an identity crisis,
so much so that it brought in former Microsoft executive Blake Irving to add
focus and clarity.
Is Yahoo a media company or a technology company? For
example, Yahoo acquired
media aggregator Associated Content in May. One week later, it acquired
location-based service provider Koprol.
One is a media buy, the other a technology buy aimed at
offering Foursquare-like check-ins. It's hard to define what one is, when one
keeps redefining itself as it goes. Yahoo's moving target evolution has seen
More than two years ago, the company
its approach as an open platform provider under the Yahoo Open Strategy
The idea was to open up Yahoo's core technological coal
mines, Yahoo Search and Yahoo Mail, to let developers build third-party widgets
and apps that would extend those platforms to the farthest corners of the Web.
That never happened and many of the executives behind that push departed for more