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Yahoo is Number One in So Much More Than Search (nytimes.com)
63 points by HoneyAndSilicon on July 16, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 45 comments

I honestly can't remember the last time I even used Yahoo. Am I alone in this or is this common ?

The kind of people who read Hacker News are very, very unrepresentative of the canonical Yahoo user. The real page views and money come from sites like Yahoo Sports, the home page, games, personals - destination sites intended for the average Jane or Joe. Yahoo serves that audience well, even though they do many other things terribly.

i agree with you - Yahoo finance, Yahoo sports and Yahoo movies are very popular ... also one might be surprised that yahoo has huge loyal fans in asian countries like china, hongkong, singapore, india, indonesia etc.... people from these countries started their internet life with yahoo search and email services and they still use it, so yes, there are many yahoo properties that are undoubtedly leading the competition...

I'm using a bunch of Yahoo's APIs (not sure whether this counts) for my pet project (geolocation, geocoding, etc). Google Maps API is not offering an alternative to some capabilities of Yahoo (Yahoo's/Flickr's reverse geocoding, for example, is really strong).

I'm surprised nobody else is a fan of Yahoo News. It might be faux pas to say this here, but I find Yahoo News to be a lot better than Google News, so I use Yahoo and NPR as my main news sources (NPR isn't something I can easily glance at, though). Google News seems to be a bit more random, and it doesn't really pick up the highest quality version of the stories.

I guess there's something that human editors (which Yahoo still uses for its news page) can do better than machines for now. At least, to me.

I use their more open API's for langpop.com and other stuff where a search API is handy.

I also use my.yahoo.com, I still like it more than google's iGoogle. Especially as I don't want the overhead of loading iGoogle every time I hit google.com, where I just want to search.

Yeah, flickr, too, although sooner or later I'm going to get around to putting up my own gallery thing for my pictures. I'm paying for hosting anyway, might as well use it.

I am a moderator of a few active Yahoo! Groups. We opened them at eGroups in 2000, and they are still working.

what is the trend in the audience sizes of those groups like ?


sorry, no I don't use flickr. I run my own gallery... (gallery2), it's open to complete strangers as well.

don't tell me you run your own search and mail too...

mail yes (postfx + horde), search = google.

Pfff, real men do their own crawling.

well, I toyed around with writing my own search engine (have a pretty good proof of concept) but in the end the bandwidth costs would have been prohibitive... so there :)

http://www.80legs.com/ - jdrock, founder, is around here on HN

That's extremely interesting. Thank you!

The funny thing is while coding that stuff the bigger problems were financial and the enormous amount of cruft that is the web. The actual search engine wasn't that hard at all.

Yep - that's exactly it. Setting up the infrastructure to handle large, web-scale content analysis is the real challenge. (Shameless plug alert) That's why we setup 80legs: to help everyone not called Google/Yahoo/Microsoft to have comparable capabilities when it comes to this.

Right now we crawl again for each user, but as we scale up we're going to start doing some caching and providing data streams.

I'd hate to see your power & network bill :)

But I think that once you have enough customers the cost of 'crawling' goes down for every new customer you sign up because you only need to crawl a page once and you can sell the crawled result to many customers. Or do I misread your model and is every page crawled over and over again for every user ?

(This intrigues me. I had imagined the long tail queries were really hard. I mean, the places where Google succeeds and Bing fails, or vice-versa seem to me the "gaps" where for whatever reason its difficult to get things right, be they for spam reasons or scoring difficulties.

Could you define "good"?)

Montezuma is nice. Also see how it "relates" to Lucene:


I use Yahoo Groups email lists every day. They have been enormously helpful in strengthening and building the parent networks formed through the statewide nonprofit organization of which I am now president. I was brought on the state board of directors of the nonprofit in 2003 largely because I knew how to apply Yahoo Groups technology to build cohesion in the organization and its chapters.

Flickr, Yahoo! Fantasy Sports, sometimes I check out Buzz or the news section. I do not, however, have an email account with them and all the times I've seen the search engine, the results haven't been very good.

I stopped yahooing after I was signed up to hotjobs through a newspaper and there was no interface for unsubcribing to their spam. So I canceled yahoo whole hog and haven't missed it.

I use it everyday for web search.

delicious, flickr, yahoo finance, plus yahoo answers popping up in search results at least once a day.

No you aren't alone

I use Yahoo finance many times daily, much more often than Google finance or other sites. Yahoo offers real-time update of broad market indices and delayed update of my favorite stocks on their main page, along with headlines and videos of the top business stories. It's a nice information packaging job.

Of course my broker supplies all that data and more, but they don't understand the complexities of corporate firewalls and http tunneling. Not to mention information stovepiping -- you know, one page for news, a separate page for quotes, another page for charts ... Yahoo integrates all that for free.

I used Yahoo finance before the market tanked (No, really before, I got out in time). I loved how easy it was to view up to 100 years of history of almost anything. Certainly helped me believe there was absolutely no reason my modest portfolio would grow much further on the stock market.

I used Google Finance when I needed to check out some stocks (twice a year or so) just because googling "GOOG", "MSFT" or "AAPL" shows a link there. Original article mentions 20M uniques for Yahoo Finance; I looked on Crunchbase for Google Finance figures -- it's mere (in comparison with YF) 1M. Surprising.

You're not alone, but you're likely in the minority. They've built up a nice little data ecosystem, and I for one love Yahoo Sports. The journalism is so-so, but being able to get a player's Game Log/other stats quickly is something I value, and it seems like all of the other sports sites have conspired to make sports data load slowly as all hell. It's gotten to the point where now I'm more likely to search "clinton portis yahoo" than the player name alone. It's also nice that they treat the NHL as one of the major sports (which it is).

Yahoo! has lost its reputation within geek circles. Google have not only put out really great products, they also go to great lengths to boast about their vastly superior technologies (BigTable, MapReduce), which gets them a lot of (well-deserved) geek love. Then there are Android and Chrome (with V8), both of which are pretty exciting to hackers. Also, Summer of Code, Code Jam etc. get Google a lot of street cred.

So, from a tech standpoint, Yahoo! isn't very exciting. They're still the same old portal website from the 90's. But for the average guy, Yahoo! still gives him what he needs, when he needs it. Non-tech people don't like to hop from one place to another.

I haven't been to any of Yahoo!'s services for over an year now, but that doesn't mean they're irrelevant.

I agree with you about the "not exciting" part, but I disagree about their reputation in geek circles - at least "real" geek circles and not just tech digerati that are obsessed only with what is changing and new and what drives traffic to their blog sites.

Yahoo pump out loads of tech stuff all the time - YUI, Hadoop, YSlow, YUI Compressor are all hugely respected and popular tools. They've write articles and published research that are almost definitive references for things like web site optimization. They have a boat load of web service APIs that are used all over the place and some of them are very innovative. It's worth just browsing around http://developer.yahoo.com/ to see all the stuff they have going.

(No, I don't work for Yahoo or have any association.)

Don't forget YQL, the weather APIs, Pipes, and Flickr. I personally think BOSS was a bit mishandled, but it has really great potential, as does YAP/YOS.

Yahoo is one of the largest collection of professional web developers, and they take that seriously. Of course, their money is in Average Joe offerings like News and Frontpage.

I do work for them, and for a developer offering team too boot, so this is quite biased, of course ;)

I concur. Y-Slow (and Smush.it) and Firebug are absolutely essential to my workday. Yahoo gets lots of geek cred from me there. (Their CX design is terrible though and Yahoo small business just went to charging $30+ per year for domain registration. WTF?)

Hadoop is essentially a Yahoo! project, and has serious cred in geek circles.

Yahoo has been my homepage since '96. I'm oldschool.

Homepage? I don't even have a homepage, just whatever tabs I had open last time.

Same here, it's either that or 1 blank tab if I closed all my tabs last time.

Maybe I'm a little to obsessive with the original source thing... I was going to complain again about the link being nytimes.com instead of the original from gigaom.com

(From the guidelines: "Please submit the original source. If a blog post reports on something they found on another site, submit the latter." )

But then this really leapt out at me:

"Yahoo News is the No. 1 news and information site in the country, with more than 50 million monthly unique readers, ahead of The New York Times network’s 45 million."

Wow, that says as much about The New York Times as it does about Yahoo News. Does the broad readership of the NYT surprise anyone else?

The New York Times certainly was big 15 years ago and by some measures, the number one paper by reputation, but no where near this big. A few things that made me really surprised at 45 million:

1) Like all the other newspapers, it suddenly needs a new business model. Isn't everyone going to blogs, aggregators, and their niche sources for their news? I know part of this is the inability to monetize the online readership in the same way as their traditional readership, but still.

2) NYT is written at a fairly sophisticated level and its liberal slant doesn't really appeal to a lot of people. Its understandable obsession with its hometown, New York City, both draws, but also repels a lot of people.

3) Hey, what 'bout CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc? Those seem much more generally appealing than the NYT.


> 2) NYT is written at a fairly sophisticated level and its liberal slant doesn't really appeal to a lot of people. Its understandable obsession with its hometown, New York City, both draws, but also repels a lot of people.

About half the country has voted Democrat in the last three Presidential elections. The Congress is now >50% Democrat as well.

Conservative voices are just the loudest and most annoying.

NYT need a login for many pages, open them and you'll see the numbers go up

Yahoo! still sees itself as a "media company". Poor things.

Your patronising tone is a little silly. Newspapers may be dying out, but there will always be a place for "media companies". Few people are willing to depend on Twitter and the blogosphere for news, and Yahoo is one of the few companies that are successfully meeting the changing news needs.

I'm not necessarily against media companies such as newspapers. Actually, I hope at least a few really make it, or we're in trouble.

But Yahoo thinks they are a "media company" because they sell banners on Yahoo! Mail (...). And, frankly, I don't see them meeting the changing media needs...

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