|Type of business||Subsidiary|
Type of site
|Employees||8,600 (March 2017)|
|Advertising||Verizon Media Native|
Yahoo! (//, styled as yahoo!) is an American web services provider. It is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California and owned by Verizon Media, which acquired it in 2017 for $4.48 billion.
It currently provides a web portal, search engine Yahoo! Search, and related services, including Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Answers, fantasy sports and its advertising platform, Verizon Media Native.
Yahoo! was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 2, 1995. Yahoo was one of the pioneers of the early Internet era in the 1990s. In 2000, it was the most popular website. Usage slowly declined as it lost market share to Google. However, Yahoo domain websites are still among the most popular websites, ranking 11th in global engagement according to Alexa Internet and 10th according to SimilarWeb.
Main article: History of Yahoo!
See also: Timeline of Yahoo!
In January 1994, Yang and Filo were electrical engineering graduate students at Stanford University, when they created a website named "Jerry and David's guide to the World Wide Web". The site was a directory of other websites, organized in a hierarchy, as opposed to a searchable index of pages. In March 1994, "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" was renamed "Yahoo!". The human-edited Yahoo! Directory, provided for users to surf through the Internet, became their first product and the company's original purpose. The "yahoo.com" domain was created on January 18, 1995.
The word "yahoo" is a backronym for "Yet Another Hierarchically Organized Oracle" or "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle". The term "hierarchical" described how the Yahoo database was arranged in layers of subcategories. The term "oracle" was intended to mean "source of truth and wisdom", and the term "officious", rather than being related to the word's normal meaning, described the many office workers who would use the Yahoo database while surfing from work. However, Filo and Yang insist they mainly selected the name because they liked the slang definition of a "yahoo" (used by college students in David Filo's native Louisiana in the late 1980s and early 1990s to refer to an unsophisticated, rural Southerner): "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth." This meaning derives from the Yahoo race of fictional beings from Gulliver's Travels.
In 1995, a search engine function, called Yahoo! Search, was introduced. This allowed users to search Yahoo! Directory. Yahoo soon became the first popular online directory and search engine on the World Wide Web.
Yahoo grew rapidly throughout the 1990s. Yahoo became a public company via an initial public offering in April 1996 and its stock price rose 600% within two years. Like many search engines and web directories, Yahoo added a web portal, putting it in competition with services like Excite, Lycos and America Online. By 1998, Yahoo was the most popular starting point for web users, and the human-edited Yahoo Directory the most popular search engine, receiving 95 million page views per day which was triple the number compared to rival Excite. It also made many high-profile acquisitions. Yahoo began offering free e-mail from October 1997 after the acquisition of RocketMail, which was then renamed to Yahoo! Mail. In 1998, Yahoo decided to replace AltaVista as the crawler-based search engine underlying the Directory with Inktomi. Yahoo's two biggest acquisitions were made in 1999 – that of Geocities for $3.6 billion, and Broadcast.com for $5.7 billion.
Its stock price skyrocketed during the dot-com bubble, closing at an all-time high of $118.75/share on January 3, 2000. However, after the dot-com bubble burst, it reached a post-bubble low of $8.11 on September 26, 2001.
Yahoo began using Google for search in June 2000. Over the next four years, it developed its own search technologies, which it began using in 2004 partly using technology from its $280 million acquisition of Inktomi in 2002. In response to Google's Gmail, Yahoo began to offer unlimited email storage in 2007. The company struggled through 2008, with several large layoffs.
In February 2008, Microsoft made an unsolicited bid to acquire Yahoo! for $44.6 billion. Yahoo formally rejected the bid, claiming that it "substantially undervalues" the company and was not in the interest of its shareholders. By 2011, Yahoo had a market capitalization of $22.24 billion (only half of what it had been offered by Microsoft three years earlier). Carol Bartz replaced Yang as CEO in January 2009. In September 2011, she was removed from her position at Yahoo by the company's chairman Roy Bostock, and CFO Tim Morse was named as Interim CEO of the company.
In early 2012, after the appointment of Scott Thompson as CEO, rumors began to spread about looming layoffs. Several key executives left, including Chief Product Officer Blake Irving. On April 4, 2012, Yahoo announced a cut of 2,000 jobs, or about 14 percent of its 14,100 workers. The cut was expected to save around $375 million annually after the layoffs were completed at end of 2012. In an email sent to employees in April 2012, Thompson reiterated his view that customers should come first at Yahoo. He also completely reorganized the company.
On May 13, 2012, Yahoo issued a press release stating that Thompson was no longer with the company, and would immediately be replaced on an interim basis by Ross Levinsohn, recently appointed head of Yahoo's new Media group. Thompson's total compensation for his 130-day tenure with Yahoo was at least $7.3 million.
On July 15, 2012, Marissa Mayer was appointed president and CEO of Yahoo, effective July 17, 2012.
On May 19, 2013 Yahoo! announced the $1.1 billion acquisition of blogging site Tumblr. Tumblr's CEO and founder David Karp became a large shareholder. The announcement reportedly signified a changing trend in the technology industry, as large corporations like Yahoo, Facebook, and Google acquired start-up Internet companies that generated low amounts of revenue as a way in which to connect with sizeable, fast-growing online communities. The Wall Street Journal stated that the purchase of Tumblr would satisfy Yahoo's need for "a thriving social-networking and communications hub." The company also announced plans to open a San Francisco office in July 2013.
On August 2, 2013, Yahoo acquired Rockmelt; its staff was retained, but all of its existing products were terminated.
Data collated by comScore during July 2013 revealed that more people in the U.S. visited Yahoo websites during the month than Google; the occasion was the first time that Yahoo outperformed Google since 2011. The data did not count mobile usage, nor Tumblr.
On December 12, 2014, Yahoo completed the acquisition of video advertising provider BrightRoll for $583 million.
On November 21, 2014, it was announced that Yahoo had acquired Cooliris.
Main article: Yahoo! data breaches
By the fourth quarter of 2013, the company's share price had more than doubled since Marissa Mayer took over as president in July 2012; however, the share price peaked at about $35 in November 2013. It did go up to $36.04 in the mid-afternoon of December 2, 2015, perhaps on news that the board of directors was meeting to decide on the future of Mayer, whether to sell the struggling Internet business, and whether to continue with the spinoff of its stake in China's Alibaba e-commerce site. Not all had gone well during Mayer's tenure, including the $1.1 billion acquisition of Tumblr that had yet to prove beneficial and the forays into original video content that led to a $42 million write-down. Sydney Finkelstein, a professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, told The Washington Post that sometimes, "the single best thing you can do ... is sell the company."
On February 2, 2016, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced layoffs amounting to 15% of its workforce.
On July 25, 2016, Verizon Communications announced the acquisition of Yahoo's core Internet business for $4.83 billion. Following the conclusion of the purchase, these assets merged with AOL to form a new entity known as Oath Inc. on June 13, 2017; Yahoo, AOL, and HuffPost were to continue operating under their own names, under the Oath Inc. umbrella. The deal excluded Yahoo's 15% stake in Alibaba Group and 35.5% stake in Yahoo! Japan. Following the completion of the acquisition, these assets were retained under the name Altaba, with a new executive team.
On September 22, 2016, Yahoo disclosed a data breach that occurred in late 2014, in which information associated with at least 500 million user accounts, one of the largest breaches reported to date. The United States have indicted four men, including two employees of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), for their involvement in the hack. On December 14, 2016, the company revealed that another separate data breach had occurred in 2014, with hackers obtaining sensitive account information, including security questions, to at least one billion accounts. The company stated that hackers had utilized stolen internal software to forge HTTP cookies.
In response to these breaches, Bloomberg News reported that Verizon was attempting to re-negotiate the deal to reduce the purchase price by $250 million, causing a 2% increase in Yahoo stock prices. On February 21, 2017, Verizon agreed to lower its purchase price for Yahoo by $350 million, and share liabilities regarding the investigation into the data breaches.
On June 8, 2017, Yahoo shareholders approved the company's sale of some of its Internet assets to Verizon for $4.48 billion. The deal officially closed on June 13, 2017.
In a press release from October 3, 2017, Oath Inc., a subsidiary of Verizon, stated that all Yahoo user accounts, some 3 billion, were affected by the August 2013 theft.
On June 16, 2017, parts of the original Yahoo Inc, which were not purchased by Verizon Communications were renamed Altaba Inc. On October 4, 2019, after selling its stake in Alibaba Group, Altaba was liquidated and dissolved. In October 2020, Altaba made a liquidating distribution to its shareholders.
Former chief operating officer Henrique de Castro departed from the company in January 2014 after Mayer, who initially hired him after her appointment as CEO, dismissed him. De Castro, who previously worked for Google and McKinsey & Company, was employed to revive Yahoo's advertising business.
Main article: List of Yahoo-owned sites and services
Main article: Criticism of Yahoo!
In September 2013, Yahoo's transparency report said the company received 29 thousand requests for information about users from governments in the first six months of 2013. Over 12 thousand of the requests came from the United States.
In October 2013, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted communications between Yahoo's data centers, as part of a program named Muscular.
In late January 2014, Yahoo announced on its company blog that it had detected a "coordinated effort" to hack into possibly millions of Yahoo Mail accounts. The company prompted users to reset their passwords, but did not elaborate on the scope of the possible breach, citing an ongoing federal investigation.
In August 2015, researchers at Malwarebytes, notified Yahoo about its users getting hacked because of vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player. According to them, the vulnerability could allow attackers to install "ransomware" on users' computers and lock their files till the customers pay the criminals.
Working with comScore, The New York Times found that Yahoo was able to collect far more data about users than its competitors from its Web sites and advertising network. By one measure, on average Yahoo had the potential in December 2007 to build a profile of 2,500 records per month about each of its visitors. Yahoo retains search requests for a period of 13 months. However, in response to European regulators, Yahoo obfuscates the IP address of users after three months by deleting its last eight bits.
On March 29, 2012, Yahoo announced that it would introduce a "Do Not Track" feature that summer, allowing users to opt out of Web-visit tracking and customized advertisements. However, on April 30, 2014, Yahoo announced that it would no longer support the "Do Not Track" browser setting.
According to a 2008 article in Computerworld, Yahoo has a 2-petabyte, specially built data warehouse that it uses to analyze the behavior of its half-billion Web visitors per month, processing 24 billion daily events. In contrast, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) database of all United States taxpayers is only 150 terabytes.
In September 2016, it was reported that data from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts was stolen in 2014.
In October 2016, Reuters reported that in 2015, Yahoo created software to search their customers' e-mail at the request of NSA or FBI.
In 2000, in the case of LICRA v. Yahoo Yahoo was sued by parties seeking to prevent French citizens from purchasing memorabilia relating to the Nazi Party. In March 2004, Yahoo launched a paid inclusion program whereby commercial websites were guaranteed listings on the Yahoo search engine. Yahoo discontinued the program at the end of 2009. Yahoo was criticized for providing ads via the Yahoo ad network to companies who display them through spyware and adware.
Yahoo, as well as other search engines, cooperated with the Chinese government to support Internet censorship in the People's Republic of China. In April 2005, dissident Shi Tao was sentenced to 10 years in prison for "providing state secrets to foreign entities" as a result of being identified by IP address by Yahoo. Human rights organizations and the company's general counsel disputed the extent of Yahoo's foreknowledge of Shi's fate. Human rights groups also accuse Yahoo of aiding authorities in the arrest of dissidents Li Zhi and Jiang Lijun. In April 2017, Yahoo was sued for failing to uphold settlement agreements in this case. Yahoo pledged to give support to the families of those arrested and create a relief fund for those persecuted for expressing their views online with Yahoo Human Rights Trust. Of the $17.3 million allotted to this fund, $13 million had been used for a townhouse in Washington, DC and other purchases.
In September 2003, dissident Wang Xiaoning was convicted of charges of "incitement to subvert state power" and was sentenced to ten years in prison. Yahoo Hong Kong connected Wang's group to a specific Yahoo e-mail address. Both Xiaoning's wife and the World Organization for Human Rights sued Yahoo under human rights laws on behalf of Wang and Shi.
As a result of media scrutiny relating to Internet child predators and a lack of significant ad revenues, Yahoo's "user created" chatrooms were closed down in June 2005. On May 25, 2006, Yahoo's image search was criticized for bringing up sexually explicit images even when SafeSearch was active. In August 2015, Yahoo purchased a 40% (23% in September 2013) owner of Alibaba Group, which was a subject of controversy for allowing the sale of shark-derived products. The company banned the sale of shark fin products on all its e-commerce platforms effective January 1, 2009. On November 30, 2009, Yahoo was criticized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation for sending a DMCA notice to whistle-blower website "Cryptome" for publicly posting details, prices, and procedures on obtaining private information pertaining to Yahoo's subscribers.
After some concerns over censorship of private emails regarding a website affiliated with Occupy Wall Street protests were raised, Yahoo responded with an apology and explained it as an accident.
Following media reports about PRISM, NSA's massive electronic surveillance program, in June 2013, several technology companies were identified as participants, including Yahoo.
Yahoo is listed in the Paradise Papers, a set of confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investment that were leaked to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.
Yahoo offers a multi-lingual interface. The site is available in over 20 languages. The official directory for all of the Yahoo International sites is world.yahoo.com. The company's international sites are wholly owned by Yahoo, with the exception of its Japan and China sites.
Yahoo! Japan is a separate entity, controlled by SoftBank.
Yahoo!Xtra, launched in 2007 in New Zealand is owned by Yahoo!7, a 50–50 agreement between Yahoo and the Seven Network.
Yahoo used to hold a 40% stake and 35% voting power in Alibaba, which manages a web portal in China using the Yahoo brand name, Yahoo! China. On September 18, 2012, following years of negotiations, Yahoo agreed to sell a 20% stake back to Alibaba for $7.6 billion.
On March 8, 2011, Yahoo launched its Romanian website after years of delay due to the Great Recession.
Yahoo entered the MENA region when it acquired Maktoob, a pan-regional, Arabic-language hosting and social services online portal on August 25, 2009. Since the service is pan-regional, Yahoo officially became Yahoo Maktoob in the region.
On September 2, 2013, Yahoo! China shut down and was redirected to taobao.com, and has been being redirected to Yahoo Singapore's search page.
Yahoo! Korea was the South Korean affiliate of Yahoo!, founded in September 1997. Its headquarters was the Yahoo! Tower on Teheranno in the Gangnam District of Seoul. On December 31, 2012, Yahoo! Korea shut down all its services and the website was redirected to the main Yahoo! search page.
Yahoo got its first logo during its establishment in 1994—it consists of the "Yahoo" wordmark which is colored black and is using the Times New Roman font, but it was later changed.
In March 1995, when the company changed its name to Yahoo, it introduced another logo which is briefly changed to a more elaborate text that includes an exclamation point at the end, but it were short-lived for only 5 months.
Later, in August 1995, that same year, Yahoo changed its logo again and it became a stylized yellow jumping "Y" figurine on a blue circle while the "Yahoo!" wordmark is written below, but the logo were also short-lived for 4 months until December 1995.
On January 1, 1996, Yahoo introduced a simplified new logo that included the text "Yahoo" and an exclamation mark, both in red with a slight shadow behind the text. By May 2009, Yahoo tweaked the logo by recoloring it from red to purple and removing the logo's outline and shadow. At the time, the purple logo was accompanied by a new slogan, "It's Y!ou." A shortened variant of the logo, consisting of only the letter "Y" and an exclamation point, was also used.
On August 7, 2013, at around midnight EDT, Yahoo announced that the final version of the new logo would be revealed on September 5, 2013 at 4:00 a.m. UTC. In the period leading up to the unveiling of the new logo, the "30 Days of Change" campaign was introduced, whereby a variation of the logo was published every day for the 30 days following the announcement. The new logo was eventually launched with an accompanying video that showed its digital construction, and Mayer published a personalized description of the design process on her Tumblr page. Mayer explains:
So, one weekend this summer, I rolled up my sleeves and dove into the trenches with our logo design team ... We spent the majority of Saturday and Sunday designing the logo from start to finish, and we had a ton of fun weighing every minute detail. We knew we wanted a logo that reflected Yahoo – whimsical, yet sophisticated. Modern and fresh, with a nod to our history. Having a human touch, personal. Proud.
On September 19, 2013, Yahoo launched a new version of the "My Yahoo" personalized homepage. The redesign allows users to tailor a homepage with widgets that access features such as email accounts, calendars, Flickr and other Yahoo content, and Internet content. Users can also select "theme packs" that represent artists such as Polly Apfelbaum and Alec Monopoly, and bands such as Empire of the Sun. Mayer then explained at a conference in late September 2013 that the logo change was the result of feedback from both external parties and employees.
In September 2019 saw another logo change for Yahoo, which the company claims is a "refreshed brand identity [that] is simpler and more flexible, and looks back to the original, quirky 1996 logo." The logo is a white text set against a purple background, with both the “y” and “!” of the logo reportedly set at an angle of 22.5 degrees.
Shortly after the 9/11 attacks, on September 26, 2001, Yahoo!'s stock hit its all-time low of $8.11.
Will compete with Bell-Microsoft similar offering
If you installed the browser plug-in, it will no longer work. If you downloaded the app, it will continue to work, but won’t be actively maintained.