Yahoo! is the brainchild of David Filo and Jerry Yang – 2 Stanford University electrical engineering students. Originally launched as a website listing their favourite sites on the web, Yahoo! was born in 1995 and was the go to site for web surfing. Anyone who was on the internet in the beginning remembers searching for everything through Yahoo! – it was the biggest search engine back then. The home page was personalized for each user – showing news, weather and stock options based on their interest and preferences.
Originally when you searched in Yahoo! Search, your query was sent to a searchable index of pages that was incorporated with its own directory of sites (Yahoo! Directory). Yahoo! doesn’t develop its own search algorithm – instead licensing Google to power searches on Yahoo.com. Starting in 2000 this 4 year arrangement gave Google so much exposure that people eventually bypassed Yahoo! altogether.
In 2003 Yahoo! Search became its own web crawler based search engine (Yahoo! Slurp) which combined the capabilities of all the search engines they had previously acquired. In 2006 Yahoo! began using smart ads – advertisements that changed appearance based on a user’s location or interests. In the same year, they are outbid when they try to purchase YouTube.
In 2009 Microsoft and Yahoo! announced that Bing would now power Yahoo’s searches.
Yahoo! is currently the #2 search engine in the world
, behind Google who has over 80% of the market share. With its new CEO and President Marissa Meyer (former Google executive) Yahoo! hopes to regain its former status as the go-to search engine and continue to eat up market share.