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Hey Yahoo... Is Anybody Home? Are You There?
Monday, January 21, 2008
Shhh did you hear that? Nah me neither, it's just the sound of Yahoo doing nothing. Anyone else notice how Yahoo has been eerily quiet as of late? Seriously, earth to Yahoo, where are you?

Well the silence may be about to be broken as there are numerous reports that Yahoo is gearing up for mass layoffs worldwide. According to one report from the New York Times, the layoffs are
in an effort to increase its profitability, prop up its deflated stock price and narrow the focus of its sprawling Internet portal to a smaller number of crucial areas...
The report goes on to suggest that Yahoo (YHOO) plans to eliminate some areas of the business that don’t support the company’s priorities. Interesting and just what are those priorities? According to a report from Bloomberg, Yahoo may announce the cuts around the same time as it reports earnings on Jan. 29.

Yahoo is still one of the most visited destinations on the Web with nearly a half a billion visitors each month. You would think that they would be able to better leverage this kind of traffic. Why then would Yahoo consider laying off as much as 20 percent of its work force? Pressure from the Board of the Directors perhaps. Yahoo has been in a bit of a downward spiral since early 2006 as their share price has lost more than half of their value since this time.

So what can we expect from Yahoo with regards to their search product? I think that Yahoo will be looking to incorporating more blended search results into their main results pages. Look for things such as images and video to frequent the Yahoo SERP more often. As a result, Yahoo may place more focus on products such as Flickr and Yahoo Video. With increasing competition from social sites such as MySpace and Facebook, you can bet that Yahoo will try to step it up on the social networking front. Last year's launch of Yahoo Kickstart has fizzled since it's release. To sum up, I think the areas that Yahoo will be focusing on in 2008 will be:
  • Blended Search - as mentioned look for Yahoo to try and seriously improve the user experience within their search results.

  • Personalization - Yahoo will begin to work harder to understand their user's search habits and will try to offer a more personal user experience a la Google with promotion of their Personalized Yahoo page

  • Social Networking - still a hot topic and really, couldn't we say that Yahoo was the original social network/portal on the Web?
I wonder if Yahoo has become accustomed to being the proverbial second most popular girl at the dance? You'd think they would get tired of being #2 in the world of search. Well if proper steps are not taken, Yahoo could be looking at the number three spot. Well one thing that you can't take away from Yahoo is their 2008 Proggy Award for having the most vegetarian- and earth-friendly corporate cafeteria. Actually in all honesty, Yahoo has a number of pretty cool products. I love Yahoo Pipes. Let's hope that Yahoo can pull it together and give Google some serious competition in the years to come.

*Image Couresty of valleywag.com


posted by PlanetNim Caretaker @ Monday, January 21, 2008  
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