Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Yahoo

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Internet and SEO - Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Yahoo

With Microsoft trying to take over Yahoo and being all over the news lately, there’s a lot of FUD being spread about them. You can’t see a news article with Yahoo in the title without stumbling upon the most outrageous lies lately. So let’s clear up some air, shall we?

Yahoo is the proverbial “garage start-up”. Actually, it was a trailer on the campus at Stanford University, USA. David Filo and Jerry Yang, both of them Electrical Engineering PhD candidates, started a single web page with the sole intention of saving links to their own favorite sites. The popularity of their little web directory caught them by surprise – they never intended to make a business out of it!

Yahoo was blogging when blogging wasn’t cool. Here’s the earliest-known archive of a Yahoo website, captured in 1996 on December 20. Among the news headlines for that day on the archived Yahoo news feed, Boris Yeltsin was returning to office after his heart surgery, US President Clinton was appointing a new energy secretary, O.J. Simpson was on the stand in his murder trial, PLO leader Yasser Arafat was still thumbing his nose at Israel and the US and blowing ballerina kisses to everyone else, and Carl Sagan died at age 62.

The original name of Yahoo was “Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web”. After their web directory caught on and started getting traffic, they had to pick a new name. They liked the English dictionary definition of “yahoo”:, “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth”. That is actually their intention with picking the name, but the name was later backronymed to stand for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”. By the way, the exclamation point really is a part of their official brand-name. But I don’t write it that way in a sentence, because it looks silly.

Yahoo pulls in US $7 billion per year Contrary to the flames recently posted by stockholders online, Yahoo is a leading global Internet company dealing in communications, commerce and media. They offer a comprehensive branded network of services to more than 345 million individuals each month worldwide. The domain Yahoo.com gets 1.5 billion visitors annually – that means that every year, the equivalent of between one-third and one-fourth of the world’s population drops by yahoo.com.

Yahoo is powered by BSD. You probably did know that, actually. I found it interesting that, while Linux commands over 30% of the world’s networked computers, just under 15% run some flavor of BSD. Some great BSD explanation here.

Things you didn’t know Yahoo did: Their own online game portal – one of the first of its kind, in fact. Yahoo-TV, which has its own video sharing service, in competition with YouTube. LaunchCast, an Internet radio service, HotJobs, their own competitor to Monster.com, Yahoo Maps, competing with Google maps, and of course, Flickr and Del.ico.us.

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