In the world of search Yahoo has been a staple of the internet since 1995. It quickly rocketed into fame as a business directory but was just as quickly overtaken several years later by a newcomer, a search engine powerhouse – Google. Yahoo saw the value of having better search technology but has been playing catch up for years. Many people don’t know that Yahoo licenced it’s search algorithm from Google starting in 2000 and then had Microsoft’s (Bing) search technology power it from 2009 on. Google dominates the US in online searches with about 70% of the market with Yahoo and Bing fighting for about 15% of the market. All the other search engines fight for the scraps. Yahoo recently snagged CEO and President Marissa Meyer from Google but has serious challenges with the rise of technology giants such as Facebook and Google.
While many people visit Yahoo’s first page to get quick snapshots of news it appears that Yahoo may not be keeping their eye on the ball. Many investors think the new CEO has been unwise in her spending habits which include $450 million on catering for her staff and $3 billion of new acquisitions that have no present stock market value. But the focus that bothers me is a very simple one…their directory of business listings.
Yahoo…your Business Directory has a Serious Problem….
As a web developer, I found there were 3 business listings in Yahoo’s business directory for a client that has only one business address. The client had moved a few times and asked me to fix their listing. No big deal, right? Wrong. It’s close to impossible to change this information. If I find an incorect listing in Google or Bing I can get that fixed fairly easily. Yahoo I discovered has no way of fixing misinformation. It turns out to fix information you have to go through another company because Yahoo has no way for you to fix your listings. This is nuts!
To fix something they push you off to another company who then extorts a small fortune to take care of the problem. But can they fix it? No. Because I did hire that company for this fix. An now, I’ve been informed that Yahoo has no way to suppress old addresses or phone numbers. So they are blaming Yahoo. Hmmm…my money’s gone and there’s still no fix. That burns my toast.
“They’re working on it.”
Seems to me that fixing or removed old business listings in a business directory should be a no-brainer? But with Yahoo it’s impossible. Perhaps they should have spent their time and money on what matters to their users? Just a suggestion. If I were running Yahoo, instead of sending $450 million in catering I would spend that money on improving your core products and having your business directory work well for your users a priority. For me at least, Yahoo is a joke. Not a serious option for businesses. And with the speed at which tech companies come and go, they may have nothing left to laugh at very soon. They may be toast.