Yahoo used to be the 800lb gorilla of search. Now, it’s relegated to also ran status and is desperately trying to stay relevant in search. How and why did this former behemoth fail?
I feel that the main reason they failed in their primary area of business is because they lacked focus. At one point, the folks at Yahoo! wanted to become a media empire, so they went on a spending spree and bought up web properties that would help them become just that.
From the outside, it seems like their lack focus and direction made them languish.
They failed to innovate in search and instead focused on trying to become a media company. MSN followed their lead and created several joint ventures with media companies that are still in place today. These MSN and NBC ventures are still around today and are successful in their own right.
Unlike MSN, which has Microsoft’s deep pockets backing it up, Yahoo! simply didn’t have the legs to stay in the race. It seems like by the time the folks at Microsoft and Yahoo! realized that the boys at Google were delivering better and more relevant results the race was over.
Don’t get me wrong, Yahoo has a great many tools in their stable with pipes, delicious, flickr and other properties, but as a search company, I feel their days are numbered.
What does this mean for you?
Well, if a multinational, multibillion dollar company with many varied businesses can fail for lack of focus so can you. Stay focused on your goals and stay focused on your primary business and area of expertise.