September 29th, 2014, 17:08 PM
Yahoo Shuts Down Original Search Product
Yahoo announced on Friday it is retiring the service that gave the company its name – its human-selected, hierarchical website listings.
The hierarchical directory was launched 20 years ago, in January of 1994, by Jerry Yang and David Filo, then graduate students at Stanford University, and was originally titled ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web’. Later that year the service was renamed ‘Yahoo!’, an acronym of ‘Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle’.
At the time, the directory provided a useful complement to automated searches, helping to highlight websites that were genuinely useful; the two types of results were listed alongside one another in searches. The situation changed with the advent of Google, whose automated search quickly displaced human-selected directories.
For a time, Yahoo used Google’s own results to power its web search; it now relies on Bing’s technology. The company’s core products are “search, communications, digital magazines, and video”, according to Jay Rossiter, senior vice president of the Cloud Platform Group.
In the meantime, Yahoo has continued to develop the hierarchical product, called Yahoo Directory, which now lists hundreds of thousands of sites. But that will come to an end in December, Rossiter said.
“Yahoo was started nearly 20 years ago as a directory of websites that helped users explore the Internet,” he said in a blog post. “Our business has evolved and at the end of 2014 (December 31), we will retire the Yahoo Directory.”
Rossiter noted that more than 60 products and services have been shut down over the past two years under chief executive Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive.