The dust is still settling from Jerry Yang’s announcement that he is to step down as Yahoos’ CEO. I wonder if Yahoo! has any idea what it wants to be. Search, Advertising or Neither.
There is still talk of Microsoft buying Yahoo! Search, which is fair enough take the least toxic bit of Yahoo! But what are you then left with. Yahoo! Mail, Delicious & Flickr they are the only remaining big properties that Yahoo have on the books.
Delicious & Flickr have yet to be monetized and the user base on both platforms would kill the person responsible for upsetting the status quo. That leaves Yahoo! Mail, which has some ads but the willingness of Yahoo! to go with the Google advertising deal means they are likely making no money on that either.
So how is Yahoo making money?
Sure its got deals with BT in the UK providing the homepage and mail service to all BT Broadband customers, and it has some News properties which are well trafficed. User growth is going to be negligible anybody who would want to sign up for a Yahoo! Account probably have, its a problem many big companies face and sure there have been attempts to get the workforce re-invigorated but so far nothing new and astounding has made it through the door, and what has been something a bit different had to be bought in.
I have said many times before that Yahoo! doesn’t have a clear sense of what it wants to be; Search, Advertising, Content or Video, it just doesn’t sit nicely anywhere and it can’t be the agregator for all because Google has sewn that one up however, thats not to say Yahoo! couldn’t compete – they could if they become a strong leader in the tech sector again.
If I where Yahoo! I would invest heavily in cloud computing services, rather than following try and jump ahead. Just like Apple did in 1997.