Yahoo News: So Why Was This Facebook Story Ignored?

April 29, 2019

Short honk: I read in Yahoo Finance this story: “Facebook’s Chris Cox Was More Than Just the World’s Most Powerful Chief Product Officer.” Here’s the statement which caught my attention:

Despite Cox’s crucial importance to this crucially important company—he has been the most important chief product officer in the world—Cox is relatively little known outside the company. And while widely hailed for his personability, he’s also “difficult to deeply get to know,” according to one long-time friend. In this article we offer the most in-depth profile to date of a gifted and still very young man, who has played a seminal role in molding a now feared and polemicized behemoth.

Okay, here’s a pat on the back. Now the question this story and the comment above sparked in my mind:

What took so long for real news people to focus on this influential person?

Yahoooo. And what is “personability,” a Yahoo-ism?

Stephen E Arnold, April 29, 2019

Short Honk: Yahoo Is Oath, Actually, Verizon Media Group

December 19, 2018

What’s with Yahoo? Is it like something the witches in Macbeth cooked up? The curse of the Yahooligans has claimed a Hollywood mogul (whatever happened to Terry Semel?), a person who fudged a résumé, a Googler known for giving interesting holiday parties, Tim Andrews (yep, the fellow of Patch fame who saw a pot of gold in the fusion of Yahoo and America Online), a new brand called Oath, and now Verizon’s billions. Oath was almost as scintillating as TRONC in terms of zippiness.

That is a track record for a company which once was a directory of Web sites. Yahoooo!

I read “Introducing Verizon Media Group.” The main point of the write up in my opinion is that Yahoo is dead. AOL is no more. From the ashes a new online media group is rising. I noted this statement:

This quarter, we’ve made it easier for people to access our unparalleled diversity and quality of consumer products, while making it easier for advertisers and publishers to solve their business challenges with the recent launch of our unified ad platforms. We’ve built on this strong foundation and set our advertising solutions apart by introducing over 20 new features this quarter, including engaging ad formats and unique supply such as digital OOH, connected TV and programmatic audio.

Yep, unified.

So now it is VMG. Perhaps the Yahoo spell has been broken?

Stephen E Arnold, December 19, 2018

Verizon: Doing What Telcos Do

November 5, 2018

Sometimes it is still hard to believe that Yahoo and AOL are now owned by the same company. What is even harder to believe is that Verizon owns all of them. Verizon, AOL, and Yahoo are in for an upset, because the San Francisco Gate reports, “Head Of Verizon’s AOL, Yahoo To Depart.”

Tim Armstrong is replacing its media and advertising with Oath President and COO Guru Gowrappan will assume the position on October 1. Armstrong will remain with Verizon until the end of the year and will act as a strategic advisor.

We learned that Gowrappen has an interesting background:

“Gowrappan joined Verizon in April and before that was global managing director of Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba. Armstrong was tasked with growing Verizon’s ad business in a challenge to Facebook and Google, but that business remains one of Verizon’s less profitable divisions. Armstrong came to Verizon when it bought AOL in 2015 and began overseeing Yahoo when Verizon bought it in 2017.”

Armstrong apparently has failed to “patch” up AOL and Yahoo as a rival to Google and Facebook. Perhaps it is a thankless task, but Beyond Search does not think this former Baby Bell would think AOL and Yahoo thoughts without the former Googler’s inputs, PowerPoints, and positive cheers.

Now Verizon has a couple of email services and some ageing online services. Yahoo seemed like a contender when it had Yahoo Groups, chatrooms, and even auctions, but these fizzled as social media and Amazon moved with purpose. AOL remained in the dial up era when compared to zippy new services like Instagram.

Verizon will have to work some Bell magic to give these services a chance in today’s online marketplace.

Whitney Grace, November 5, 2018

Quote to Note: Silicon Valley and Substantive Content

March 2, 2018

I like the way the light shines after a person collects millions per year and then realizes that Silicon Valley reality is plastic fantastic. I read “Katie Couric Slams Her Time at Yahoo: It ‘Was Not Fulfilling’.” (No word on how fulfilling depositing the pay checks were, however.)

Here’s the quote I found notable:

Major tech companies seem to value content for clicks.

No fooling?

Stephen E Arnold, March 2, 2018

How Yahoo Made Google into a Titan

February 15, 2018

Is it possible that yesterday’s search engine giant actually gave today’s kingpin the job on a silver platter? That’s the way one former exec makes it sound when describing how Yahoo fell from grace and crashed incredibly hard. This story and more were detailed in a recent Inquisitr story, “Former Yahoo Employee: Yahoo’s Idiocy Is Hard to Exaggerate.”

According to former employee Jeremy Ring:

“Yahoo!’s leadership just didn’t see the big dollars that were in search until it was too late…”  “Yahoo, in a way, made Google the titan that it is today. “Yahoo contracted out search to Google in 2000 and waited until 2004 to develop its own search technologies. It was too late by then, Google had already become the dominant player.”

It is impossible to deny that Yahoo gave up its seat at the head of the digital table. How a company that was so ubiquitous with the start of the internet revolution has fallen so far, is a little bit comic and a little bit tragic. However, the company is trying desperately to fix it all in the third act of their story. Communications giant Verizon recently bought Yahoo. Rumor has it that Verizon is wanting to get in on the content creation front, like Google is doing with YouTube. If that is the case, Yahoo could be poised for big things. Nostalgia lovers would flip to see Yahoo back in a relevant place in society, but time will tell.

Patrick Roland, February 15, 2018

Yahoo: The Folks in the East Did It. Maybe

November 9, 2017

I have not thought too much about Yahoot. Sorry, I meant Yahoo. Oh, right, Yahoo is now Oath. I did revisit the online outfit when I read “Former Yahoo CEO Apologizes for Data Breaches, Blames Russians.” The real news and professional publishing outfit Thomson Reuters informed me:

Former Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer apologized on Wednesday for two massive data breaches at the internet company, blaming Russian agents for at least one of them, at a hearing on the growing number of cyber attacks on major U.S. companies.

I noted this passage:

Mayer said Yahoo has not been able to identify how the 2013 intrusion occurred and that the company did not learn of the incident until the U.S. government presented data to Yahoo in November 2016. She said even “robust” defenses are not enough to defend against state-sponsored attacks and compared the fight with hackers to an “arms race.”

There is nothing like taking action, telling users, and assuming responsibility in a timely manner. Oh, 2013 is just like yesterday.

Yahooooot. Silicon Valley sets the pace.

Stephen E Arnold, November 9, 2017

Free Services: What Happens When They Are Killed Off?

November 3, 2017

In the salad days of online, one paid for “time” (the online connection) and one paid for the “content” (the citations, data, full text). Today data are free. Hooray.*

For users of the the Google flight information, the news that Google was likely to shut down its flight data feed is bad news. Even worse, those nifty MBA inspired spreadsheets which happily omitted the cost of flight data are going to have to be re-imagined.

And Oath (remember Yahoo?) is, it seems, going to cut off the finance, if the story in Hacker News is accurate. The write up states:

Yahoo Finance has apparently killed is API. Zero warning. Lots of apps probably use this. Before, you could get stock information by using Now, you get the following message: It has come to our attention that this service is being used in violation of the Yahoo Terms of Service. As such, the service is being discontinued. For all future markets and equities data research, please refer to What violation of TOS? People have been using this for years without any issues. If you are going to cut this off, how about a warning and heads up? Guess that’s what we should expect from OATH / Verizon.

The comments are interesting.

Net net: The online model from the 1969 to 1995 phase of online may be poking its nose from a Rip Van Winkle snooze.

And those spreadsheets? MBAs are crafty. The numbers will work out—at least in Excel. In real life? Hmmm. Good question.

Stephen E Arnold, November 3, 2017

* Editor’s update: Heads up. I last night (November 3, 2017) I received an impassioned and mom-like communication from a person who wanted confidentiality about the information he was about to impart via Gmail email. (Isn’t that type of email parsed by smart software for the purpose of collecting ad revenue and data?) The alleged former Googler (aka Xoogler) was unaware that I was at dinner with my wife enjoying a grilled squirrel burger with the cheese on the bottom in the approved Google manner. But this write up was an urgent matter in the mind of the agitated Xoogler eager to share confidential information with me. Lucky me! The email included numbers and a statement that I had to rewrite this article because I was, as I have noted on numerous occasions in the course of this 10 year old Beyond Search blog, an “addled goose”. The email made clear that killing Google services and products does no harm, and I was wrong, incorrect, off base, and a Bambi brained deer. Please, check out the source story from Marketwatch. Make up your own mind, gentle reader, because I try to present my opinion whilst separating the giblets from the goosefeathers.  My view is that abrupt, unilateral modifications of services is a good thing for some devlopers and users. But I do enjoy confidential communications about the inner workings of my favorite search engine as I munch my burger with cheese on the bottom in the Sundar Pichai approved manner. Plus, I enjoy recalling the Google Reader, Google Talk, Google Health, Knol, Google Buzz, and my favorite and the fave of some Brazilians, Orkut. You don’t? Well, you, unlike me, are not trying to be Googley. To refresh your memory, check out the Google Graveyeard. Do you have a problem with terminated services? In my opinion, termination with extreme prejudiced is in your best interests. Now put the cheese on the bottom of the meat patty.

Free Content Destroying Print Media

July 27, 2017

Today’s generation has no concept of having to wait for the day’s top stories till the newspaper is delivered. If they want to know something (or even they don’t) they simply turn on their Smart phone, tablet or even watch! With news stories available 24/7 with automatic alerts, most people under thirty can’t possibly fathom paying for it.

It almost wasn’t that way. According to Poynter,

In the 1990s, a cantankerous, bottom-line-obsessed and visionary Tribune Company executive named Charles Brumback pushed something that was called The New Century News Network. The top print news organizations, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Times-Mirror would form a network in which they’d house their content online and charge for it. Members would get paid based on usage. They even started a newswire that was similar to what we know as Google News.

Unfortunately, the heads of print media couldn’t see the future and how their pockets would be deflated due to the giving away of their content to online giants such as Facebook and Yahoo and Google.

Now, these same short-sighted network bigwigs are wanting Congress to intervene on their behalf. As the article points out, “running to Congress seems belated and impotent.”

Catherine Lamsfuss, July 27, 2017

Verizon: The Spirit of Yahoot

June 9, 2017

I surmised from “Confirmed: Verizon Will Cut ~15% of AOL-Yahoo Staff after Merger Closes” that the spirit of Yahoot will live. At least for a while.

Here’s the passage I highlighted in Yahoot purple:

The proportion of jobs being made redundant across AOL and Yahoo is around 15 percent globally, we have confirmed with our sources. This shakes out to as many as 2,100 jobs being lost as part of the corporate merger.

With a price tag close to $5 billion, the new top dogs for Yahoot will have to shake a leg to:

  • Get their money back
  • Generate new, sustainable revenues as mobile search grows beyond 60 percent of search traffic
  • Innovate in ways that open new revenue streams which are themselves profitable.

Yahoot is Oath with a colon.

How does one search for “Oath with a color”? Wonky names can pose some challenges for the New Age search and retrieval systems.

My query for Oath with a colon on returned these results:


I then tried the same query on that popular service Izito and got these results:



My conclusion: When creating a name, it is a good idea to consider how that name is processed by online search systems.

Oath with a colon is likely to generate some results which will leave Yahoot customers wondering what’s where.

Yep, one link points to a dictionary and the definition does not mention Verizon. Why would it? And the Izito number one hit reminds me that Oath is the acronym for the State of New York’s Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings.

Yahoot! I suppose I should think of Yahoot as Oath with a colon. Love those cute names I do.

Stephen E Arnold, June 9, 2017

Yahoo Pay Inequity

April 19, 2017

Former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made a considerable salary, especially considering she came to power during an economic downturn.  Her replacement Thomas McInerney, however, will be making double her salary.  Fortune reports on the income differences in: “Yahoo’s New Male CEO Will Make Double Marissa Mayer’s Salary.”  Pay inequity remains a big topic in today’s job market and this rises to the top as another example of a professional male receiving more money than a woman who held the same position.

Since Yahoo has sold its technology and advertising business to Verizon, it only consists of Alibaba stock, Yahoo Japan, and other miscellaneous investments.  One can assume that McInerney will have a much easier job than Mayer did.  McInerney is the former IAC CEO and his base salary will be $2 million, over Mayer’s $1 million.  He will also be getting more income from Yahoo:

What’s more, Yahoo actually expects to pay McInerney $4 million in his first year working at the company, assuming he earns his target bonus, which is equal to his base salary, according to the new disclosures. That’s 25% more than the $3 million the company is paying Mayer for a salary and cash bonus this year. On top of that, McInerney will also be eligible for grants of long-term incentive rewards of up to $24 million, depending on achievement of performance goals. If he were to receive the maximum amount, it would also be twice as much as Mayer’s long-term incentive grant in 2015, the last full year before the Verizon deal was announced.

McInerney will be paid to run the Yahoo equivalent of a mutual fund.  Yahoo will also not be buying new stock, instead, they will focus on managing their Alibaba stock and Yahoo Japan.  Those two investments basically run themselves.

If you ask me, it sounds like once again a woman cleans up a mess, makes it manageable, and a man comes in to take the credit and more pay.

Whitney Grace, April 19, 2017

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