In-House Techhub

End Of An Era With Yahoo – Perspective Cube by MTC

The end of Yahoo marks the end of an era in the world of the internet but the customer experience mantra it gives can lead to the constant growth of any business.

The news that came out today, marks the end of an era. An era that started with the birth of the initial but most popular search engine of its time in the world of the internet and is about to end on December 15, 2020. Now you might have understood what I am talking about, yes! I am talking about the end of Yahoo!, the first search engine for the 90’s kids. Today, Yahoo Group announced shut down by December 15, after almost two decades.

Launched in January 1994 in California, the United States was amongst the pioneers of the early Internet era in the 1990s.Yahoo was a web titan and leader in web search, news, and email, in the 90s and early 2000s. The company had grown rapidly to become a full-featured Web portal with a host of services covering most of the needs of the user with the search engine Yahoo! Search around which was grafted Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News or Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Directory, to name just a few of the many services that were offered by Yahoo. In the early 2000s, just before the dot-com’s happy period ended, Yahoo! was the most visited site in the world.

In later years, Yahoo saw a steady decline in usage and eventually lost the majority of its value. All the activities of Yahoo were divided into two parts in 2017. Thus, Verizon acquired Yahoo’s Internet division for $4.48 billion while the shares in Alibaba and Yahoo! Japan held in the newly started company Altaba.

Contextual Aftermath

Even after the acquisition, there was a constant decline in the usage of Yahoo for several years and this eventually marked the end of Yahoo. Verizon, which bought Yahoo in 2017, announced that all Yahoo Groups will be shut down on October 21st, and all Groups content will be removed on December 14th. After October 21, 2020 users won’t be able to upload any new content to Yahoo but it will still remain on the network. Till December 14, 2020, all types of contents on Yahoo Group will be removed.

Once on the top, a leader in the world of the internet has fallen and is about to end in the next couple of months. Let’s have a look at the lessons that we can learn from the fall of Yahoo and mistakes that added to the fall of one of the most popular search engines and pioneers of the early internet era.

Greatest Mistake

Yahoo truly never recovered from the crash on the internet. Now we all remember yahoo for the opportunities it missed and the wrong decisions it made. In 1998, Yahoo had almost purchased Google for $1 billion. But founder David Filo convinced Jerry Lang and Larry Page to build their own platform. It was one of the best deals that were available in Silicon Valley.

Yahoo got a second chance to buy Google in 2001 but Yahoo turned down the offer from Google. This time Yahoo missed one of the best opportunities ever. In 2006, Yahoo had a chance to purchase Facebook for 1.1 billion dollars but yahoo offered only 800 million dollars. Yahoo also had the opportunity to acquire Youtube and eBay.

Instead of acquiring Google, Facebook, eBay, Youtube, etc Yahoo acquired for $5.1 billion. is recognizable as the proto-YouTube of the dial-up era. Yahoo also acquired Geocities for $3.7 billion, which gave a platform for millions of individuals to build their website.

When we look back to Yahoo, everyone has their own theory on its success and failure. We can attribute Yahoo for not allowing paid search ads to happen with organic search results. By the time Yahoo realized its mistake and acquired Overture, the company that first invented paid search advertising, for $1.6 billion in the year 2003, Google has already leaped way ahead.

Yahoo’s failure becomes the lack of clear vision and identity crisis. Yahoo missed several opportunities to make a deal with a high acquisition. It also failed to keep up the pace of innovation as per the demand of the time and the competitors. Yahoo also failed to understand the needs of the customers which led to a negative customer experience for the visitors.

Lessons to Learn

As we know, every failure has a lesson, and here we are talking about the failure of a giant, so we will have many important lessons to learn from this case. As customer experience is the least discussed lesson, when we talk about the failure of Yahoo, I would like to focus on the customer experience lessons that we can learn from the failure of this tech giant.

Communicate with customers

When customers face an issue, they don’t care about how great the brand is or what is its marketing strategy or their apology, they simply want the issues to be fixed. When a company rectifies a negative situation, the customer remembers the good experience and will stay loyal and continue doing business with the company.

Yahoo has had a problem with email security since January 2013 and failed to fix the issue immediately. They might have thought that they can rely on the power of their brand name and the history of their brand to retain users. Not all businesses have that luxury, so focusing on the problems of the customers immediately is crucial. Yahoo also failed to address the issue and communicate it with the customers which also added to the disappointment of the customers.

Focus on customers

The primary role of Yahoo was of a search engine, but after a period of time, it lost its way and couldn’t keep the focus on its core service of being a search engine. Yahoo tried to be everything to everyone on the internet, which you can make out even by looking at the home pages of Yahoo! and comparing it with Google.

While trying to be everything to everyone, Yahoo forgot to be what it was, a search engine. Because of this it also failed to concentrate on the customer experience which needed good quality search results at a better speed. Yahoo also failed to capitalize on its great services such as Yahoo messenger.

The primary reason customers visit any website is to complete a task that needs the core function of that particular website or company. Trying to capitalize on other functions except for the core function always dents the growth and development of a business, and also dissatisfies the customer base.

Ask for customer feedback

Using customer information is a powerful tool and strategy that any brand would want to incorporate. Yahoo had a huge audience and could have asked for customer feedback on the concerning topics such as security breach or safety of the account.

Unfortunately, Yahoo seemed pretty defensive about the whole situation and didn’t communicate or offer a solution to the issue.

Final Take

Customer experience is critical and one of the most important parts of the business, and it needs ultimate focus. Yahoo was successful because of its initial innovation but failed to continue the innovation in alignment with the needs of the customers. An era is about to end with the end of Yahoo, but the lesson it teaches needs to be remembered for ages, at least in the books of business and the online market.

Check Out The New Martech Cube Podcast. For more such updates follow us on Google News Martech News


Aashish Yadav
Content Writer, Martech Cube
Aashish is currently a Content writer at Martech Cube. He is an enthusiastic and avid writer. His key region of interests include covering different aspects of technology and mixing them up with layman ideologies to pan out an interesting take. His main area of interests range from medical journals to marketing arena.

Previous ArticleNext Article