Will Pending Layoffs Put Final Nail In Yahoo Search?

yahooWhatever is left of Yahoo Search — and, frankly, that’s unclear at this point — might be gone completely within the next couple of weeks.

At AllThingsD today, Kara Swisher is reporting that Yahoo is planning substantial layoffs as early as next week, with a company restructuring to be revealed the week after that. Swisher, who’s been correct on things like this in the past, mentions “a half-dozen sources” in reporting on Yahoo’s impending plans.

Of note for Search Engine Land readers is the discussion of what might happen to Yahoo Search. AllThingsD says that Yahoo has been in talks with both Google and Microsoft.

“[Yahoo CEO Scott] Thompson and others are still trying to figure out how to dispense with its ad technology org and, potentially, its search business. He has been in discussions with both Microsoft and Google about this, although there are other possibilities, too.”

One of those “other possibilities” appears to be Yahoo holding on to at least some of its search business, which AllThingsD says could be rolled into a “global media” division with Yahoo’s communications business.

Yahoo got out of the core search business when it outsourced its search results to Bing in August 2010. That 10-year agreement calls for Bing to power Yahoo’s search results and Microsoft’s adCenter to handle self-service search ads (while Yahoo continued to service “premium” advertisers).

Former Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz promised that Yahoo would “continue to innovate” on the user interface/experience side. While there have been a few changes here and there, Yahoo’s share of the U.S. search market has been sliding consistently.

So, while my headline asks if the final nail could soon hit the Yahoo search coffin, I’m sure Danny Sullivan would argue that it already happened three years ago.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Top News | Yahoo: Business Issues | Yahoo: Search


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://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    I suppose that, given Carol Bartz’ bad leadership, had the US DOJ supported my and other people’s objections to the Yahoo!-Microsoft deal this would still have happened.  But it’s not like we didn’t try to warn the government this was a highly likely outcome.  I find it hard to imagine that Yahoo! “search” could survive in any form if it’s moved off of Yahoo!.

  • http://oscience.info/ Subash Poudel

    Yahoo is really out of business after it;s deal with Bing.
    Unless Yahoo bring some massive innovation I am sure that yahoo will have to eventually leave search business and find new niche for itself , or focus on other business it have been doing.

  • saraiki Rang

    best post man thanks Saraiki Rang

  • saraiki Rang

      best post man thanks Saraiki Rang

  • PositOrange

    Yahoo still has a substantial amount of traffic and valuable networks its built up, so it should remain alive in some form or another. And the possibility always exists for some kind of reinvention, but I’m very skeptical about their chances for reemerging as one of the dominant figures. Yahoo had a big chance to build up some really valuable social services like Flickr and others, but they’ve been overtaken there and missed that window. So what now with Yahoo? IMO, a lot of the dead weight that should be laid off at Yahoo are a bunch of the horrible product people they have that neglected the very amazing opportunities they’ve had. But it seems with Yahoo’s patent lawsuit against Facebook, they’re basically admitting they have no ideas and no direction outside of a desperate cash grab.

  • steve70638

    It is really as if Yahoo just doesn’t want to be in business anymore.  For all the innovation in that organization these last few years, they only needed a very small staff.  What business are they in anyway?  They exited the search business being number 2 (huh?).  All they sem to have is a news portal and an email service (which both must be losing market share like crazy…see what happens when you get rid of the search business?).

  • http://oscience.info/ Subash Poudel

    why does everyone have two comment posts here?
    looks like a bug to me!

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