It once ruled the world wide web.

A time before Google

Many people believe that there was nothing prior to Google. But, this is not the case. In 1994, the largestold-yahoo-directory search engine in the world was Yahoo! Directory, or at least what they associated as a search engine.

For a very long time, the Yahoo! Directory was the go to resource for individuals to find the websites they were seeking on the new ‘world wide web.’ These users would page through lists of websites broken out in various categories such as Art, Business, Computers, and Humanities (to name a few) and find the appropriate site to match their query. Seems a bit troublesome today doesn’t it?

Ironically enough, the Yahoo! Directory didn’t even start off with the famous name it was known by. Before it was named the Yahoo! Directory, it was called ‘Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web,’ after the founders Jerry Yang and David Filo. When that didn’t seem to roll off the tongue, they agreed on Yahoo!, which stands for, Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.<< Don’t ask me what this stands for..

There was no Bot, there was no Crawler, just web site owners submitting their site to this index and hoping their title was enough to win the click. < Sound familiar doesn’t it?? Today, we work in conjunction with Bots and Crawlers to do the same thing, a major part of search engine optimization is creating a Page title and description worthy enough of a click.

The end of an era

Friday, Yahoo! announced via the Tumblr blog that they are shutting down the Yahoo! Directory. This announcement has seen a large amount of criticism as it felt like a lackluster way to kill of what was once an icon on the web. Here is the announcement:

Yahoo was started nearly 20 years ago as a directory of websites that helped users explore the Internet. While we are still committed to connecting users with the information they’re passionate about, our business has evolved and at the end of 2014 (December 31), we will retire the Yahoo Directory. Advertisers will be upgraded to a new service; more details to be communicated directly.

Google killed the Yahoo! Directory Star

The death of the Yahoo! Directory has everything to do with the fact that Google came along and built a better mousetrap. One they continued to invest in, refine, improve, and grow. Yahoo! lacked interest in the search business and got ran over by the Google machine.

More proof Directories for SEO are Dead!

Many in the SEO community have been expressing that Directories are a dead tactic for obtaining traffic and leads. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Directories are indeed alive and kicking. They have just moved from the generic Yahoo! Directory, to much more niche directories, focused specifically on an industry. And those types of directories will not die.

The death of the Yahoo! Directory doesn’t mean there is another nail in the coffin of directories or another lost tactic for online marketing professionals to help generate traffic and leads. It just shows the battery of changes happening over at Yahoo! to turn the once thriving and now struggling tech giant into a profitable organization again. Yahoo! has been shutting down some of the elements of their business in which they are not able to compete at a high level and focusing their efforts on other properties, mainly mobile.

The Yahoo! Directory will officially shut down on December 31st, 2014. RIP Yahoo! Directory