Monday, July 23, 2012

The Fall And Rise Of Yahoo!

Yahoo! has had some very public struggles lately.  But with the hiring of former Google exec, Marissa Mayer, we may start to refocus on the value that Yahoo! brings to the web.  Some may question what Yahoo! stands for today, but the more important question will be what does Yahoo! want to be.  Ad Age has it right.  "Yahoo needed to be a product company again, and media alone isn't a good enough product. Rather, Yahoo needs to build the tools and services that bind its 700 million users into its world, services such as Mail, Yahoo Finance and Sports. The debate of Yahoo as a tech company vs. a media company has been settled: It must be both."

Despite their failings, viewers still use their services; for me it is finance, sports, and news.  Continuing to push their content and their strengths as aggregators of content means we will still seek them out for our information.  But more is needed to drive use.Ad Age notes need to improve the homepage and mail.   "With those two products growing increasingly stale, and today's youngest generation of internet user gravitating toward social networks instead of portal pages or even email, Yahoo is facing a not-so-distant future in which it'll need to replace the core traffic-driving engines that create value in its media properties." Whether it through acquisition or refresh, Yahoo! needs to focus on matching itself to the future - from better mobile deployment and tablet usage to a best social network experience.

Can Yahoo! do it?  I think with the right leadership and renewed investment, the answer is a resounding yes.

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