Case about Yahoo
1. Success as a Web Search Engine
a. Why was Yahoo! such an early success on the Web?
Yahoo was an early success due to a combination of factors such as timing, hard work, and a good understanding of Web surfer’s tastes and needs.. In early 1995, Net mania was just flowering. It was a great time to be a young entrepreneur with an Internet idea. Dave Faldo and Jerry Yang saw a consumer need for classifying and differentiating web sights. Resting the urge to automate this process, Yahoo’s founders instead chose to manually perform this search, reviewing and classifying roughly 1000 sights a day. This approach combined with their decision to offer a free service lead to early success.
b. Why was Yahoo! more successful as a search engine than other, more technically superior search engines?
Yahoo!’s search engine was designed to be both reliable and streamlined. The design was simple so it would pop up quickly. Its focus was on quality, not quantity. Yang’s comment that “if you have 13 Madonna sights, you probably don’t need a 14th” rings true. Surfers choosing Yahoo! not only were provided reliable information, but they were not bombarded with 1000 sights to review. Additionally, Yahoo! provided a product that was appealing and fun to use.
c. Why is the fact that “Yahoo! spends money on people, not computers,’ one of the keys to their success?
Yahoo!’s founders business plan was to manually categorize existing web sights and provide a succinct list of quality sights to choose from. This human-created directory was all that distinguished Yahoo! from its competitors as Net euphoria swept the stock market in early 1996. Other search engines were throwing any sight that met the search requirements at the user. Yahoo!’s concept saved the browser the time they would otherwise spend filtering out the garbage to find these quality sights.
2. Building a Web Sight and the Brand
a. Do you agree with Jerry Yang’s two fundamental strategies for the success of Yahoo! as a Web site and business brand? Why or why not?
Yang firmly believed that success could be achieved by: a) giving users abundant reasons to visit your service, and b) promote the hell out of the brand. Both strategies were key in Yahoo’s success. Yang’s vision of a one-stop-shopping site, giving users multiple reasons to use his service not only ensured they will visit for a variety of reasons, but also built lasting relationships with customers. Yahoo! provides its users with free services such as email, stock tracking, customized news searches, weather, travel rates, and sports information all on one personalized home page.
However, Yahoo! founders realized that without a strong brand name, they would have difficulty attracting both advertisers and users. In order to get people to use your sight the first time, having a recognizable brand name in essential. New users have been bombarded with creative ads that may...