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October 17, 2006

Ten Reasons Why Yahoo! Deserves a Break

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The tide has turned. A few months ago it was Google who could do nothing right in the eyes of its users, this month it’s Yahoo!. There was last week’s article in The New York Times, this discouraging thread at WMW, and lots of other not-so-positive Yahoo press. But is all the Yahoo-hate really fair? Of course not.

And because of that, here are Top 10 Reasons Users Shouldn’t Give up on Yahoo (in no particular order):

  1. The Commercials – Regardless of how you feel about Yahoo!, you have to admit the commercials make you warm inside. How you can not smile when dogs come back from the dead or when a nerd escapes public humiliation?
  2. Panama is here – So it was delayed, but Panama is here now (sort of). Invites go out next week. Advertisers, rejoice.
  3. Yahoo Answers – A most wonderful way to waste time research what users are interested and come up with potential blog topics. Without it, I never would have known how to tell if my goldfish was pregnant. Not that I have a goldfish. Fish scare me (it’s the eyes).
  4. The NOODP tag – Yahoo! has finally conceded that users don’t like it when they use ODP titles and descriptions, so they stopped. Everyone likes an engine that listens. (Listens, not talks.)
  5. They’re an engine AND a media company – Google can’t tout that and neither can MSN or Ask, but Yahoo! has somehow managed to do both.
  6. Mindset – This is still one of the coolest toys around. If you haven’t tried it, Yahoo! Mindset lets users adjust their SERP based on intent – are they looking to buy or research? With a simple adjustment to the slider, users can see results geared more towards research and information sites or find sites to help them get their shop on.
  7. They remember the major holidays – They may not have remembered Columbus Day or helped us celebrate International Talk like a Pirate Day, but they were all over yesterday’s Dictionary Day. What? You forgot?
  8. Terry Semel is easier to photograph than Steve Ballmer – Canada.com has determined it is virtually impossible to find a usable photo of Steve Ballmer. We concur. He always looks like he wants to eat your face.
  9. Terry Semel’s not afraid of his PR guy – Would Larry or Sergey publicly announce that Microsoft “has no chance” in the search market? No. But Terry Semel did. That gives him street cred.
  10. Nobody Hates Them – Hey, that’s gotta count for something, right? People hate Microsoft, and on certain days of the week people feel pretty strongly about their dislike for Google, but no one hates Yahoo. They just moderately don’t like them. Sort of how you feel about your little brother. You don’t hate him; it’s just that every once and awhile you question why he’s there.




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