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Yahoo!

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This article is about the corporation. For the search engine, see Yahoo! Search. For other uses, see Yahoo (disambiguation).
Yahoo! Inc.
Type Public
Traded as NASDAQYHOO
NASDAQ-100 Component
S&P 500 Component
Industry Internet
Computer Software
Web search engine
Founded January 1994 (1994-01) (as Jerry and David's guide to the World Wide Web)
March 1995 (1995-03) (as Yahoo!)
Founders Jerry Yang, David Filo
Headquarters Sunnyvale, California, U.S.
Area served Worldwide
Key people Maynard Webb
(Chairman)
Marissa Mayer
(CEO)
Products See Yahoo! products
Revenue Decrease 4.68 billion (2013)1
Operating income Increase $589million (2013)1
Net income Decrease 1.36billion (2013)1
Total assets Decrease US$16.80billion (2013)1
Total equity Decrease US$13.07billion (2013)1
Employees 12,200 (Dec 2013)1
Subsidiaries Yahoo! subsidiaries
Website www.yahoo.com
Yahoo! India Bangalore office

Yahoo! Inc. is an American multinational Internet corporation headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. It is globally known for its Web portal, search engine Yahoo Search, and related services, including Yahoo Directory, Yahoo Mail, Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Groups, Yahoo Answers, advertising, online mapping, video sharing, fantasy sports and its social media website. It is one of the most popular sites in the United States.2 According to news sources, roughly 700 million people visit Yahoo websites every month.34 Yahoo itself claims it attracts "more than half a billion consumers every month in more than 30 languages."5

Yahoo was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 1, 1995. On July 16, 2012, former Google executive Marissa Mayer was named as Yahoo CEO and President, effective July 17, 2012.6

According to comScore, Yahoo during July 2013 surpassed Google on the number of United States visitors to its Web sites for the first time since May 2011, set at 196 million United States visitors, having increased by 21 percent in a year.7

History and growth

Main article: History of Yahoo
Jerry Yang and David Filo, the founders of Yahoo

In January 1994, Yang and Filo were electrical engineering graduate students at Stanford University when they created a website named "Jerry and David's guide to the World Wide Web".89 The site was a directory of other websites, organized in a hierarchy, as opposed to a searchable index of pages. In March 1994, "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" was renamed "Yahoo!"1011 The "yahoo.com" domain was created on January 18, 1995.12

The word "yahoo" is an acronym for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".13 The term "hierarchical" described how the Yahoo database was arranged in layers of subcategories. The term "oracle" was intended to mean "source of truth and wisdom", and the term "officious", rather than being related to the word's normal meaning, described the many office workers who would use the Yahoo database while surfing from work.14 However, Filo and Yang insist they mainly selected the name because they liked the slang definition of a "yahoo" (used by college students in David Filo's native Louisiana in the late 1980s and early 1990s to refer to an unsophisticated, rural Southerner): "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth." Filo's college girlfriend often referred to Filo as a "yahoo." This meaning derives from the Yahoo race of fictional beings from Gulliver's Travels.

Yahoo grew rapidly throughout the 1990s. Like many search engines and Web directories, Yahoo added a web portal. By 1998, Yahoo! was the most popular starting point for web users.15 It also made many high-profile acquisitions. Its stock price skyrocketed during the dot-com bubble, Yahoo stocks closing at an all-time high of $118.75 a share on January 3, 2000. However, after the dot-com bubble burst, it reached a post-bubble low of $8.11 on September 26, 2001.16

In 2000, Yahoo began using Google for search. Over the next four years, it developed its own search technologies, which it began using in 2004. In response to Google's Gmail, Yahoo began to offer unlimited email storage in 2007. The company struggled through 2008, with several large layoffs.citation needed

In February 2008, Microsoft Corporation made an unsolicited bid to acquire Yahoo for US$44.6 billion. Yahoo formally rejected the bid, claiming that it "substantially undervalues" the company and was not in the interest of its shareholders. Three years later, Yahoo had a market capitalization of US$22.24 billion.17 Carol Bartz replaced Yang as CEO in January 2009.18 In September 2011, she was removed from her position at Yahoo by the company's chairman Roy Bostock, and CFO Tim Morse was named as Interim CEO of the company.

In early 2012, after the appointment of Scott Thompson as CEO, rumors began to spread about looming layoffs. Several key executives, such as Chief Product Officer Blake Irving left.19 On April 4, 2012, Yahoo announced a cut of 2,000 jobs or about 14 percent of its 14,100 workers. The cut is expected to save around US$375 million annually after the layoffs are completed at end of 2012.20 In an email sent to employees in April 2012, Thompson reiterated his view that customers should come first at Yahoo. He also completely reorganized the company.21

On May 13, 2012, Yahoo issued a press release stating that Thompson was no longer with the company, and would immediately be replaced on an interim basis by Ross Levinsohn, recently appointed head of Yahoo's new Media group.212223 Thompson's total compensation for his 130-day tenure with Yahoo was at least $7.3 million.24

On July 16, 2012, Marissa Mayer was appointed President and CEO of Yahoo, effective the following day.

On May 19, 2013 the Yahoo board approved a US$1.1 billion purchase of blogging site Tumblr, and the company's CEO and founder David Karp will remain a large shareholder. The announcement reportedly signifies a changing trend in the technology industry, as large corporations like Yahoo, Facebook, and Google acquire start-up Internet companies that generate low amounts of revenue as a way in which to connect with sizeable, fast-growing online communities. The Wall Street Journal stated that the purchase of Tumblr would satisfy the company's need for "a thriving social-networking and communications hub."2526 On May 20, the company announced the acquisition of Tumblr officially.27 The company also announced plans to open a San Francisco office in July 2013.28

On August 2, 2013, Yahoo Inc. announced the acquisition of social Web browser concern RockMelt. With the acquisition, the RockMelt team, including the concern's CEO Eric Vishria and CTO Tim Howes, will be the part of Yahoo team. As a result, all the RockMelt applications and existing Web services were terminated on August 31.29

Data collated by comScore during July 2013 revealed that more people in the U.S. visited Yahoo Web sites during the month in comparison to Google Web sites; the occasion was the first time that Yahoo outperformed Google since 2011. The data did not incorporate visit statistics for the Yahoo-owned Tumblr site or mobile phone usage.30

On March 12, 2014, Yahoo officially announced its partnership with Yelp, Inc., which will help Yahoo boost its local search results to better compete with services like Google. 31

Products and services

The front page of the Yahoo website, in 4th August 2014.

Yahoo operates a portal that provides the latest news, entertainment, and sports information. The portal also gives users access to other Yahoo services like Yahoo Mail, Yahoo Maps, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Groups and Yahoo Messenger.

Storing personal information and tracking usage

Working with comScore, The New York Times found that Yahoo was able to collect far more data about users than its competitors from its Web sites and advertising network. By one measure, on average Yahoo had the potential in December 2007 to build a profile of 2,500 records per month about each of its visitors.32 Yahoo retains search requests for a period of 13 months. However, in response to European regulators, Yahoo obfuscates the IP address of users after three months by deleting its last eight bits.33

On March 29, 2012, Yahoo announced that it would introduce a "Do Not Track" feature that summer, allowing users to opt out of Web-visit tracking and customized advertisements.34 However, on April 30, 2014, Yahoo announced that it would no longer support the "Do Not Track" browser setting.35

According to a 2008 article in Computerworld, Yahoo has a 2-petabyte, specially built data warehouse that it uses to analyze the behavior of its half-billion Web visitors per month, processing 24 billion daily events.36 In contrast, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) database of all United States taxpayers weighs in at only 150 terabytes.36

Communication

Yahoo provides Internet communication services such as Yahoo Messenger and Yahoo Mail. As of May 2007, its e-mail service would offer unlimited storage.37

Yahoo provided social networking services and user-generated content, including products such as My Web, Yahoo Personals, Yahoo 360°, Delicious, Flickr, and Yahoo Buzz. Yahoo closed Yahoo Buzz, MyBlogLog, and numerous other products on April 21, 2011.38

Yahoo Photos was closed on September 20, 2007, in favor of Flickr. On October 16, 2007, Yahoo announced that it would discontinue Yahoo 360°, including bug repairs; the company explained that in 2008 it would instead establish a "universal profile" similar to the Yahoo Mash experimental system.39

Content

Yahoo partners with numerous content providers in products such as Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Music, Yahoo Movies, Yahoo Weather, Yahoo News, Yahoo Answers and Yahoo Games to provide news and related content. Yahoo provides a personalization service, My Yahoo, which enables users to combine their favorite Yahoo features, content feeds and information onto a single page.

On March 31, 2008, Yahoo launched Shine, a site tailored for women seeking online information and advice between the ages of 25 and 54.40

Co-branded Internet services

Yahoo developed partnerships with broadband providers such as AT&T Inc. (via BellSouth & SBC), Verizon Communications, Rogers Communications and British Telecom, offering a range of free and premium Yahoo content and services to subscribers.specifyvaguecitation needed

Mobile services

Yahoo Mobile offers services for email, instant messaging, and mobile blogging, as well as information services, searches and alerts. Services for the camera phone include entertainment and ring tones.

Yahoo introduced its Internet search system, called OneSearch, for mobile phones on March 20, 2007. The results include news headlines, images from Flickr, business listings, local weather and links to other sites. Instead of showing only, for example, popular movies or some critical reviews, OneSearch lists local theaters that at the moment are playing the movie, along with user ratings and news headlines regarding the movie. A zip code or city name is required for OneSearch to start delivering local search results.

The results of a Web search are listed on a single page and are prioritized into categories.41

As of 2012, Yahoo used Novarra's mobile content transcoding service for OneSearch.42

On October 8, 2010, Yahoo announced plans to bring video chat to mobile phones via Yahoo Messenger.43

Commerce

Yahoo offers shopping services such as Yahoo Shopping, Yahoo Autos, Yahoo Real Estate and Yahoo Travel, which enables users to gather relevant information and make commercial transactions and purchases online. Yahoo Auctions were discontinued in 2007 except for Asia.44

Small business

Yahoo provides business services such as Yahoo DomainKeys, Yahoo Web Hosting, Yahoo Merchant Solutions, Yahoo Business Email and Yahoo Store to small business owners and professionals allowing them to build their own online stores using Yahoo's tools.citation needed

Advertising

Yahoo Search Marketing provides services such as Sponsored Search, Local Advertising and Product/Travel/Directory Submit that let different businesses advertise their products and services on the Yahoo network.

Following the closure of a "beta" version on April 30, 2010, the Yahoo Publisher Network was relaunched as an advertising tool that allows online publishers to monetize their websites through the use of site-relevant advertisements.45

Yahoo launched its new Internet advertisement sales system on February 5, 2007, called Panama. It allows advertisers to bid for search terms to trigger their ads on search results pages. The system considers bids, ad quality, clickthrough rates and other factors in ranking ads. Through Panama, Yahoo aims to provide more relevant search results to users, a better overall experience, and to increase monetization.46

On April 7, 2008, Yahoo announced APT from Yahoo, which was originally called AMP from Yahoo,47 an online advertising management platform.48 The platform simplifies advertising sales by unifying buyer and seller markets. The service was launched in September 2008.49

In September 2011, Yahoo formed an ad selling strategic partnership with 2 of its top competitors, AOL and Microsoft.50 But by 2013 this was found to be underperforming in market share and revenue, as Microsoft simply skimmed off four percent of the search market from Yahoo, without growing their combined share.51

GeoPlanet

Main article: GeoPlanet

Yahoo offers cartographic and gegraphic services via GeoPlanet.

Yahoo Next

Main article: Yahoo Next

Yahoo Next is an incubation ground for future Yahoo technologies currently undergoing testing. It contains forums for Yahoo users to give feedback to assist in the development of these future Yahoo technologies.52

Yahoo BOSS

Main article: Yahoo Search BOSS

Yahoo Search BOSS is a service that allows developers to build search applications based on Yahoo's search technology.53 Early Partners in the program include Hakia, Me.dium, Delver, Daylife and Yebol.54

In early 2011, the program switched to a paid model using a cost-per-query model from $0.40 to $0.75 CPM (cost per 1000 BOSS queries). The price, as Yahoo explained, depends on whether the query is of web, image, news or other information.55

Yahoo Meme

Main article: Yahoo Meme

Yahoo Meme is a beta social service, similar to the popular social networking sites Twitter and Jaiku.

Y!Connect

Y!Connect enables individuals to leave comments in online publication boards by using their Yahoo ID, instead of having to register with individual publications. The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo plans to mimic this strategy used by rival Facebook Inc. to help drive traffic to its site.56

Yahoo Accessibility

Yahoo has invested resources to increase and improve access to the Internet for the disabled community through the Yahoo Accessibility Lab.57

Yahoo Axis

Main article: Yahoo Axis

Yahoo Axis is a desktop web browser extension and mobile browser for iOS devices created and developed by Yahoo. The browser made its public debut on May 23, 2012.58 A copy of the private key used to sign official Yahoo! browser extensions for Google Chrome was accidentally leaked in the first public release of the Chrome extension.59

Yahoo SearchMonkey

Yahoo SearchMonkey (often misspelled Search Monkey) was a Yahoo service which allowed developers and site owners to use structured data to make Yahoo Search results more useful and visually appealing, and drive more relevant traffic to their sites. The service was shut down in October 2010 along with other Yahoo services as part of the Microsoft and Yahoo search deal. The name SearchMonkey is an homage to Greasemonkey. Officially the product name has no space and two capital letters.

Yahoo SearchMonkey was selected as one of the top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2008.60

Defunct services

Geocities was a popular web hosting service founded in 1995 and was one of the first services to offer web pages to the public. At one point it was the third-most-browsed site on the World Wide Web.61 Yahoo purchased GeoCities in 1999 and ten years later the web host was closed, deleting some seven million web pages.62 A great deal of information was lost but many of those sites and pages were mirrored at the Internet Archive,63 OOcities.com, and other such databases.64

Yahoo Go, a Java-based phone application with access to most of Yahoo services, was closed on January 12, 2010.65

Yahoo 360° was a blogging/social networking beta service launched in March 2005 by Yahoo and closed on July 13, 2009.66 Yahoo Mash beta was another social service closed after one year of operation prior to leaving beta status.67

Yahoo Photos was shut down on September 20, 2007, in favor of integration with Flickr. Yahoo Tech was a website that provided product information and setup advice to users. Yahoo launched the website in May 2006. On March 11, 2010, Yahoo closed down the service and redirected users to Yahoo's technology news section.68 Other discontinued services include Farechase, My Web, Audio Search, Pets, Live, Kickstart, Briefcase, and Yahoo for Teachers.69

Hotjobs was acquired by and merged with Monster.com.

Yahoo Koprol was an Indonesian geo-tagging website that allowed users to share information about locations without the use of a GPS device. Koprol was acquired by Yahoo a year following its inception and, in 2011, 1.5 million people were utilizing the website, with users also based in Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam. However, eighty percent of users were Indonesian.70 Yahoo officially discontinued Koprol on August 28, 2012, because it did "not meaningfully drive revenue or engagement".71

Yahoo Mail Classic was announced as to be shut down in April 2013. Yahoo made a notice that, starting in June 2013, Mail Classic and other old versions of Yahoo Mail will be shut down. All users of Mail Classic are expected to switch to the new Yahoo Mail, use IMAP, or switch to another email service.72 In addition, April 2013 brought the closure of Upcoming, Yahoo Deals, Yahoo SMS Alerts, Yahoo Kids, Yahoo Mail and Messenger feature phone (J2ME).73

In early July 2013 Yahoo announced the scheduled closure of the task management service Astrid. Yahoo had acquired the company in May 2013 and was to discontinue the service on August 5, 2013. The team at Astrid has supplied its customers with a data export tool and recommended former competitors such as Wunderlist and Sandglaz.7475

Twitter slide leak on upcoming changes to Yahoo

On December 15, 2010, one day after Yahoo announced layoffs of 4% of its workers across their portfolio, MyBlogLog founder Eric Marcoullier posted a slide from a Yahoo employee on Twitter. The slide was visible during an employee-only strategy webcast indicating changes in Yahoo's offerings.76

The following services were in a column under "Sunset": Yahoo Picks, AltaVista, MyM, AlltheWeb, Yahoo Bookmarks, Yahoo Buzz, del.icio.us, and MyBlogLog. Under the "Merge" column were: Upcoming, FoxyTunes, Yahoo Events, Yahoo People Search, Sideline, and FireEagle.

11 other properties were listed that Yahoo was interested in developing into feature sites within the portal to take the place of the "Sunset" and "Merge" vacancies, including the prior feature services (before the new Yahoo Mail was launched), were Yahoo Address Book, Calendar, and Notepad.77 Despite Notepad being listed as a feature service instead of sunset or merge in 2010, Yahoo has since taken steps to de-emphasize Notepad. For example, in January 2013, Notepad was no longer linked within the new Yahoo mail service, although it continued to be linked in the older Classic version. Also, starting in mid- to late January 2013, Notepad was no longer searchable.citation needed

The blog on the del.icio.us website released a post by Chris Yeh after the slide was leaked in which Yeh stated that "Sunset" doesn't necessarily mean that Yahoo is closing down the site. Yeh further explained that other possibilities—including del.icio.us leaving Yahoo (through sale or spinoff)—were still being considered: "We can only imagine how upsetting the news coverage over the past 24 hours has been to many of you. Speaking for our team, we were very disappointed by the way that this appeared in the press."78 On April 27, 2011, Yahoo's sale of del.icio.us to Avos was announced.79

Yahoo Buzz was closed down on April 21, 2011 without an official announcement from Yahoo.80 MyBlogLog was then discontinued by Yahoo on May 24, 2011.81

Privacy

Protest against the mass surveillance by the NSA

In September 2013 The Indian Express reported that Yahoo! received 29 thousand requests for information about users from governments in the first six months of 2013. Over 12 thousands of the requests came from the United States.82

In October 2013, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted communications between Yahoo's data centers, as part of a program named MUSCULAR.8384

In late January 2014, Yahoo! announced on its company blog that it had detected a "coordinated effort" to hack into possibly millions of Yahoo! Mail accounts. The company prompted users to reset their passwords, but did not elaborate on the scope of the possible breach, citing an ongoing federal investigation.85

Criticism

Main article: Criticism of Yahoo

In 2000, Yahoo was taken to court in France by parties seeking to prevent French citizens from purchasing memorabilia relating to the Nazi Party.86 In March 2004, Yahoo launched a paid inclusion program whereby commercial websites were guaranteed listings on the Yahoo search engine.87 Yahoo discontinued the program at the end of 2009.88 Yahoo was criticized for providing ads via the Yahoo ad network to companies who display them through spyware and adware.8990

Yahoo, as well as other search engines, cooperated with the Chinese government in censoring search results. In April 2005, dissident Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison for "providing state secrets to foreign entities"91 as a result of being identified by IP address by Yahoo.92 Human rights organizations and the company's general counsel disputed the extent of Yahoo's foreknowledge of Shi's fate.93 Human rights groups also accuse Yahoo of aiding authorities in the arrest of dissidents Li Zhi and Jiang Lijun.

In September 2003, dissident Wang Xiaoning was convicted of charges of "incitement to subvert state power" and was sentenced to ten years in prison. Yahoo Hong Kong connected Wang's group to a specific Yahoo e-mail address.94 Both Xiaoning's wife and the World Organization for Human Rights95 sued Yahoo under human rights laws on behalf of Wang and Shi.96

As a result of media scrutiny relating to Internet child predators and a lack of significant ad revenues, Yahoo's "user created" chatrooms were closed down in June 2005.97 On May 25, 2006, Yahoo's image search was criticized for bringing up sexually explicit images even when SafeSearch was active.98 Yahoo waswhen? a 40% (24% in September 2013) owner of Alibaba Group,99 which was a subject of controversy for allowing the sale of shark-derived products. The company banned the sale of shark fin products on all its e-commerce platforms effective January 1, 2009. On November 30, 2009, Yahoo was criticized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for sending a DMCA notice to whistle-blower website "Cryptome" for publicly posting details, prices, and procedures100 on obtaining private information pertaining to Yahoo's subscribers.101

After some concerns over censorship of private emails regarding a website affiliated with Occupy Wall Street protests were raised,102103 Yahoo responded with an apology and explained it as an accident.104

Executives

Board of Directors (current)

106 107 108 109

Board of Directors (past)

Chief Executive Officers

Former chief operating officer Henrique de Castro departed the company in January 2014 after Mayer, who initially hired him after her appointment as CEO, dismissed him. de Castro, who previously worked for Google and McKinsey & Company, was employed to revive Yahoo’s advertising business.112

Yahoo International

Yahoo offers a multi-lingual interface. The site is available in over 20 languages. The official directory for all of the Yahoo International sites is world.yahoo.com. The company's international sites are wholly owned by Yahoo, with the exception of its Japan and China sites.

Yahoo holds a 34.75% minority stake in Yahoo Japan, while SoftBank holds 35.45%,113 YahooXtra in New Zealand, which Yahoo!7 have 51% of and 49% belongs to Telecom New Zealand, and Yahoo!7 in Australia, which is a 50–50 agreement between Yahoo and the Seven Network. Historically, Yahoo entered into joint venture agreements with SoftBank for the major European sites (UK, France and Germany) and well as South Korea and Japan. In November 2005, Yahoo purchased the minority interests that SoftBank owned in Europe and Korea.

Yahoo used to hold a 40% stake in Alibaba, which manages a web portal in China using the Yahoo brand name. Yahoo in the USA does not have direct control over Alibaba, which operates as a completely independent company. On September 18, 2012, following years of negotiations, Yahoo agreed to sell a 20% stake back to Alibaba for $7.6 billion.114

On March 8, 2011 Yahoo launched its Romania local service after years of delay due to the financial crisis.115116117118119

Yahoo officially entered the MENA region when it acquired Maktoob, a pan-regional, Arabic-language hosting and social services online portal, on August 25, 2009.120 Since the service is pan-regional, Yahoo officially became Yahoo Maktoob in the region.

On December 31, 2012, Yahoo Korea shut down all its services and left the country, with its previous domain saying in Korean, "Starting from December 31, 2012, Yahoo! Korea has ended. You can go to the original Yahoo! for more Yahoo's information."citation needed

On September 2, 2013, Yahoo China shut down and is being redirected to taobao.com.121

Logos and themes

Logo used from 1994–2013 (shown: purple variant used from 2009)

The first logo appeared when the company was founded in 1994—it was red with three icons on each side.122 The logo used on the Yahoo home page formerly consisted of the color red with a black outline and shadow; however, in May 2009, together with a theme redesign, the logo was changed to purple without an outline or shadow. This change also applied to several international Yahoo home pages. In some countries, most notably Yahoo!7 (of Australia), the logo remains red.123 On occasion the logo is abbreviated: "Y!".124

On August 7, 2013, at around midnight EDT, Yahoo announced that the final version of the new logo would be revealed on September 5, 2013 at 4:00 a.m. UTC. In the period leading up to the unveiling of the new logo, the "30 Days of Change" campaign was introduced, whereby a variation of the logo was published every day for the 30 days following the announcement.125126 The new logo was eventually launched with an accompanying video that showed its digital construction, and Mayer published a personalized description of the design process on her Tumblr page.127 Mayer explains:

So, one weekend this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the trenches with our logo design team ... We spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday designing the logo from start to finish, and we had a ton of fun weighing every minute detail. We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo - whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud.128

On September 19, 2013, Yahoo! launched a new version of the "My Yahoo" personalized homepage. The redesign allows users to tailor a homepage with widgets that access features such as email accounts, calendars, Flickr and other Yahoo content, and Internet content. Users can also select "theme packs" that represent artists such as Polly Apfelbaum and Alec Monopoly, and bands such as Empire of the Sun.129 Mayer then explained at a conference in late September 2013 that the logo change was the result of feedback from both external parties and employees.130

See also

References

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