8 Products That Might Be On Yahoo’s Chopping Block

yahoo-y-logoYahoo’s product teams are officially on notice.

Shortly after announcing Q1 earnings yesterday, new Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson dropped a bomb during the analysts’ call when he said the company will be “shutting down or transitioning roughly 50 properties that don’t contribute meaningfully to engagement or revenue.”

He went on to say that Yahoo’s focus will be on its “core media connections and commerce businesses,” such as Yahoo News, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo Mail and a few other successful Yahoo properties.

But what about the 50 properties that are destined to be shut down or transitioned soon? Let’s take a look at what might and might not be on Thompson’s list.


flickr-logoWould Yahoo shut down one of its most beloved properties? As a user since 2004, I shudder at the thought. Flickr is still one of the most popular photo-sharing sites on the web — it had almost three million photo uploads per day in March, according to Yahoo’s own figures.

So that would appear to meet Thompson’s standard for saving properties with strong engagement. But does Flickr make any money for Yahoo? It sells inexpensive “pro” memberships and shows ads to non-Pro account holders, but the income from those is probably minimal. Yahoo reportedly fired at least some, and possibly all of Flickr’s customer service team earlier this year. But the product is still being developed — witness yesterday’s Android app upgrade as evidence.

My guess is that Flickr stays alive, at least temporarily. But that may be more of a hope than anything. It may be a stronger sale candidate than most other Yahoo properties mentioned below, especially since Instagram was worth a billion dollars to Facebook.

Yahoo Answers

yahoo-answersLike Flickr, Yahoo Answers is an extremely popular site that gets high marks for engagement but probably doesn’t make much money for Yahoo.

It’s an active product, at least judging by today’s announcement of changes to its level system (changes that its most active users won’t like, ironically).

My gut feeling is that Yahoo Answers, despite the high engagement, is a more likely shut down candidate than Flickr. But it’s not as likely to be chopped as the next eight Yahoo products I’ll list.

8 Yahoo Products That Could Be Shut-Down Candidates

1.) Yahoo Upcoming

Once a popular event guide, Upcoming seems to be a ghost town these days. The most recent post on the Upcoming News Blog was back on December 15, 2010. It announced a beta version of Upcoming’s new site design. You can still see the beta design at beta.upcoming.yahoo.com, but the main site hasn’t been touched. Knock, knock … is anyone home?


2.) Yahoo Directory

Once a must-use site for link builders, the Yahoo Directory is largely an afterthought now — including for Yahoo. Some years ago, the company stopped posting a list of daily directory additions.

In 2010, Yahoo shut down directories in France, Germany, Italy and Spain; the UK and Ireland directory followed soon after.

At the time, Yahoo said the U.S. directory was safe. That’s probably not the case now.


3.) Yahoo Pipes

Pipes seems to be a fairly popular site in some circles, and offers some interesting tools for collecting and curating web content. But it may not meet Thompson’s credo of focusing on high engagement and high revenue services, and it’s not at all consumer-facing.


4.) Yahoo Groups

Yahoo Groups is almost in the same place that Flickr and Yahoo Answers is. It has a huge userbase, but it’s probably not making the company enough money to justify keeping it alive. Yahoo Groups hasn’t seen any significant development in years — at least nothing’s that plainly visible to its users.


5.) Yahoo Clues

This is a pretty cool service that reveals search trends and also serves as something of a keyword research tool. But with Yahoo already having shut down Yahoo Site Explorer, we have to wonder how committed the company is to products like this that are perhaps geared more toward online marketers than Yahoo’s general consumer audience.


6.) Yahoo Fire Eagle

Yahoo’s location sharing service never seemed to catch on, at least to me. It stores your location so that other sites and services can use it. But the app gallery isn’t exactly a who’s who of social/local/mobile networking.


7.) Yahoo Babel Fish

Google Translate seems to own this niche, and Babel Fish probably doesn’t have enough user engagement to justify its existence at this point. (It also looks like Yahoo hasn’t touched its design in years, for whatever that’s worth.)


8.) Yahoo Koprol

Koprol is an Indonesian site that’s similar to Foursquare. Yahoo acquired it in 2010, and there were recent reports that its entire developer team was fired. So long, Koprol.


There are literally dozens of other Yahoo products and services that could be on the chopping block — like Smush.it and Yahoo Avatars, for example. Many are services you’ve never used and perhaps haven’t even heard of.

But what Yahoo products do you think should be on the chopping block? Or what products do you hope survive Yahoo’s upcoming cuts? Comments are open.

Related Topics: Channel: SEO | Top News | Yahoo: Answers | Yahoo: Business Issues | Yahoo: Flickr | Yahoo: Pipes | Yahoo: Translation


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://drewschug.com DrewSchug

    This article could have just as easily been titled 8 Yahoo products you’ve never heard of. Minus the directory

  • http://www.stealthmode.com hardaway

    Yahoo Groups is a mainstay for churches, affinity groups, and people who know nothing about technology. I have a 2000 person email group that has been running on it since 2000. I wouldn’t even know where to migrate it seamlessly, even though I know how to use most tech tools. Google Groups doesn’t have the same functionality.

  • http://www.michaelmerritt.org/ Michael Merritt

    I’d be upset to see Flickr get shut down. I think it has one of the best interfaces and features of any photo hosting service, including Facebook’s.

  • http://twitter.com/joedevon Joe Devon ®

    Only if you haven’t been paying attention. 

  • Matt McGee

     Really, Drew?

  • Matt McGee

    Agreed 100%. I’ve been using Yahoo Groups since before Yahoo bought it! It was Onelist and then became eGroups and then Yahoo bought it — and the product hasn’t developed much since then.

    And you’re right that Google Groups is not an adequate replacement.

  • http://twitter.com/JCHXIII Jack Hutchinson

    I’d be sad to see Flickr go. Also 
    Yahoo Groups hosts some good, well, groups! 

  • http://twitter.com/boxmusique David

    I can’t see Yahoo shutting down Flickr. I think they’d be more likely to sell it. As for the rest of the listed services, I can’t say I’d mourn any of them.

  • http://drewschug.com DrewSchug

    Don’t get me wrong, I personally have heard of them. Let me clarify by saying that businesses and people that Yahoo relies upon for a more mass appeal have not heard of these products.

  • http://www.stanleyoppenheimer.com searchengineman

     It’s really sad to see … a mixture of hope’s and dreams, ritually slaughtered.
    I think the first thing.  The new Yahoo CEO better do is hire a security team/bodyguard service or George Clooney “From: Up in the Air (Movie), to handle the disgruntled yahoo tech employee’s who didn’t jump ship when they should have.  I think his popularity will be in Citi Bank Executive level. This is really ugly.  It’s like watching a train wreck in slow motion.


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    my classmate’s mother-in-law brought home $12865 the previous week. she is working on the internet and got a $522100 house. All she did was get blessed and put into action the directions revealed on that web site top of this comment

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Goff/100003745805608 Adam Goff

    my classmate’s sister-in-law makes $84 hourly on the laptop. She has been fired for 7 months but last month her income was $9078 just working on the laptop for a few hours. Go to this site N u t t y R i c h dot cöm

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