It seems like the days of Yahoo Search are limited. Last week Yahoo eliminated 2,000 jobs in an effort to “reorganize” and stay afloat. Prior to last week’s memo to its employees, it was speculated that Yahoo might try to do away with its search department all together. This does not come as a surprise as the numbers for Yahoo search continue to fall. In the first quarter numbers this year, Yahoo was the only search engine to experience a decrease in overall usage from last year:
- Google’s queries increased 10% y/y in March.
- Yahoo’s queries decreased 5% y/y in March.
- Bing’s queries increased 19% y/y in March.
- AOL’s queries increased 5% y/y in March.
- Ask.com’s queries increased 7% y/y in March.
So what does this mean for Yahoo as a company? And if the search function is dropped, where will all the traffic go? My first thought is that Yahoo as company is not going anywhere. They have many other products that they offer to such as: Mail, Messenger, Flickr, Answers, and more. The company is simply too large at this point to disband. They will place their efforts in other areas such as new product development and advertising. If employed by Yahoo I would only worry if I were one of the 1,800 currently in the search division.
Search traffic will probably spread across the remaining search engines. I would expect Bing to see the largest push in traffic followed by Google and then ask.com. The reason I suspect Bing will have the larger increase is because Yahoo and Bing have been on the same platform for some time now. At the moment, Yahoo doesn’t even have its own platform. For this reason it should come as no surprise that Yahoo search may fall by the wayside. We will have to keep a close eye and adjust search engine strategies around the fall of Yahoo search.
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