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The End Of Yahoo – What Begins Now?

Earlier this week I read “Yahoo’s Demise Is a Death Knell for Digital News Orgs” over at the Atlantic. I’ve been thinking about Yahoo! as it’s final ending has been playing out.

Yahoo was the first real search engine that excited me. I’d utilized web crawlers, which were fine. Quite amazing in their time. Yahoo! was the first site I’d experienced that considered relevance. Revolutionary at the time.

The unwinding of Yahoo!’s relevance has been slow and painful. I actually used their portals for news and ways to dig deeper into research. It was a great way to find out information on companies, for instance.

Slowly, surely, Google and Facebook kept taking more and more of Yahoo!’s lunch money. Now another survivor of the dot com bust collapses (the 18th was the last day of public trading for it. And Verizon will smoosh it and AOL into “Oath”.  I guess there’s something poetic about two venerable brands of Web 1.0 morphing into some new entity, Ghost in the Shell-esque. I wonder what will happen with this, but lean towards it drifting from irrelevancy into obscurity.

Within the Atlantic’s article, though, is a telling statistic: “Facebook and Google account for 85-percent of every new dollar spent on digital advertising”. As someone who cares about digital marketing, this alarms me a great deal. Yet I’ve spent most of my digital marketing dollars via these two platforms, so I need to own part of the problem. It’s weird, the proverbially vicious cycle. Monopolization of advertising in the digital sphere makes me concerned about costs rising. I guess the only way to respond is wait and see what GoogleFace does.

And one last thought: as AOL and Yahoo! teach us, the digital world evolves quickly…and viciously. Both were dominant brands in their day, and both dwindled in influence, fading to obscurity. Both Google and Facebook have the potential to do so, and, if history is any guide, are quite likely to suffer similar fates.

Now, what will come next? That’s the bold question, isn’t it?