What went wrong at Yahoo?

I noticed something today: the Yahoo homepage contains multiple links to total spam sites. There’s an online degrees site features that goes to an adsense filled page (a spam site in other words), and a link to the ripoff company “freecreditscore” (they will sell you a monthly subscription without you noticing to get your “free” credit score).

What’s worse, these links are not advertised as “ads”, but as editorial content.

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That’s not good for Yahoo’s brand or credibility. (SEO’s of this world, have your fun with it!)

I noticed today that surfing around some of the Yahoo properties really feels like surfing around an ad-filled bunch of rather useless features.

So what went wrong? I’m not sure, but these kind of mistakes tend to be institutional. I think this page was designed by good designers, tested for usability, but nobody really owns it as their baby and worries about its quality. If they did, things like this wouldn’t last a day. Also, it’s probably the most stodgily conservative page in the company (homepages usually are), but come on!

What’s more, as I was playing with Yahoo, I started to think their information architecture is a mess. For example, there are links to Yahoo services scattered all over the homepage, mixed in with some crappy ads like the above and some really pretty useless “news” items. Come on guys, it’s 2007! You can do better.

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One thought on “What went wrong at Yahoo?

  1. i worked for the media group for about fifteen minutes last year, and i can tell you what’s wrong: yahoo has no strategy, no leadership, and no management. they routinely ignore user research in favor of the flavor-of-the-minute fads written up in the business mags (and not the good ones, but the cheezy behind-the-times ones).

    my $.02, fwiw.

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