Many people may not realise, or care, that Yahoo! turned 14 this week. As the Yahoo! corporate web site said, when Yahoo! was born, Java was still coffee, email was for geeks, broadband was not even a dream and the news only came via print, radio or TV.
The IT field in general has exploded and the world wide web has been the trigger for many of those developments. Many years ago I read an analogy that compared IT and aircraft. If aircraft had been developed at the same rate, we could fly from Edinburgh to Melbourne (Australia) in half an hour using a thimble of fuel.
Yahoo! was also one of the first to develop free email services that could be accessed on any computer around the world.
Despite these developments, Yahoo! continues to be the bridesmaid. The run second fiddle to Google in search, like wise to Hotmail and now Gmail in email services. They have been the talk of numerous takeovers, merges or acquisitions, mainly by rival Microsoft – yet they still survive. Will they survive to see 15?
When one player dominates, they tend to rule the roost. Most web master optimize their sites to Google’s standards first, and consider Yahoo! and MSN as minor considerations – often a big mistake since those two search engines still deliver a lot of traffic.
Yahoo! will see 15 and beyond although possibly not in its current format. They have their fingers in many pies and could probably lose their search engine functions and still survive. For webmasters, Yahoo! is still alive and kicking – they do still generate a decent traffic flow for organic search, so it is still worth ensuring that your pages are also ranking in their search results.
For Yahoo!, many happy returns although most webmasters will be hoping the presents come their way in the form of traffic – after all, that is what a search engine is all about.
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