Yahoo has announced that it is retiring the very service that defined the company, Yahoo Directory.
The original proto-search engine, which helped many early users of the internet to find what they were looking for, will be retired on December 31, 2014.
The news was broken quietly, in a brief company progress report from SVP Jay Rossiter that also announced the end of Yahoo Education and the Qwiki camera roll app.
Back in the early days of the internet, Yahoo established itself as one of the first companies to make sense of this increasingly dense web of pages. It was initially a hand curated directory of existing web pages separated into categories, and didn’t use the kind of sophisticated automated search algorithms that we see today.
Indeed, the word Yahoo itself is an acronym that stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle.”
By 1998 it was the most popular starting point for web users. Of course, in 1998, Google happened, and the rest is history.
Google now accounts for the vast majority of web searches, and in truth Yahoo has long since moved the focus of its business to other areas. Indeed, in the past decade or so it has turned to first Google and then Microsoft for its search algorithms.
However, with Yahoo continuing to draw a surprising amount of its income from search results and rumours of another big push into search from the big Y, don’t expect Yahoo’s search-based history to be forgotten entirely.
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Via: PC Mag