“If you prick us, do we not bleed? if you poison us, do we not die?”

2 minute read.

Today Yahoo! has announced a good number of products will be going the way of the dodo. These include Delicious, Altavista, MyBlogLog, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Yahoo! Picks. These cuts have been made under a cost cutting drive and re-focusing on ‘core’ product, but this seems to suggest that Yahoo! knows what its core products are and how they want to develop them.

Yet, I have not used a single Yahoo! service for over 10months aside from Flickr and Delicious, has anybody looked at the Yahoo! homepage lately there is so much going on and nothing that I am interested – and do I really have time to customise it so it does?

First, we’ve found a lot of duplication in work between Products and the regions. Second, it’s no secret that we’re cutting investment in underperforming and non-core products so we can focus on our strengths (like email, the homepage, search, mobile, advertising, content and more). [Source]

Whilst the removal of duplication is common sense, I really don’t see how Advertising, Search and Homepage make a valuable proposition to investors or for that matter Yahoo! They are curtailing investment and the only real way to win at search is pay for the best and the brightest – So its clearly not the case that Yahoo! are taking anybody on at search. Advertising, again I have managed advertising online with a number of companies and have never really used Yahoo as an advertising platform. Why? because it simple does not offer the value for money and ROI that Google AdWords or Microsoft AdCenter offer. The homepage? who even has a homepage anymore?

We then look at the venerable Flickr, the product has been so neglected and very little developed since Yahoo! bought it I find it very hard to believe that its going to last much longer. They missed the boat with social networks – how easy would it have been to leverage the loyal user base and also provide tight integration with Facebook but alas this hasn’t happened, so how can the product grow if its new users are dumping photos straight into Facebook and completely bypassing Flickr.

Then we get onto news, and this is something that Yahoo! could capitalise on to great effect. Why not reposition the company as the leading source for curated news. Aggregation is all well and good, but people want information now and in quick bite-size chunks – give it to them. If Yahoo! was ever to have something that nobody has it would be the curation of great content, yet this features nowhere in the plan set out by Carol Bartz.

All we have is Email, Homepage, Search, Advertising, Mobile. Jack of all trades master of none?