Yahoo! has spent a large sum of money on acquisitions. Yahoo! spent more than $100 million on many of the acquisitions. There were some acquisitions such as the acquisition of Tumblr in which Yahoo! spent over a billion dollars. Yahoo! even offered Mark Zuckerberg $1 billion back in 2006 to buy Facebook. Zuckerberg ended up saying no.
However, someone decided to offer his creation to Yahoo! in 1997 for $1 million. Although Yahoo! had spent hundreds of millions of dollars on other creations, this person decided that $1 million was a suitable price. Yahoo! did not acquire the creation for $1 million. Yahoo! rejected Larry Page’s creation…the one called Google. The funny thing is that Yahoo! acquired eGroups for half a billion dollars before getting the offer for Google. eGroups was created by Carl Page, Larry’s brother.
Yahoo! would have unquestionably dominated the web with Google by its side. Yahoo! would only have to compete against Bing for the leading search engine.
Too bad Yahoo! didn’t take the small risk. Now Google is worth well over $200 billion. To think that $1 million is all they would have needed to spend to own Google.
D. M. Lowe (@FilmTimelapse) says
I’ve been on the internet since 1992 and I’ve watched all of this happen. My thoughts:
1) People just don’t like the name “Yahoo”. I had arguments with another photographer about how a “gmail” address was “more professional” (her words) than a “yahoo” mail address. I told her she was wrong, but time, and 10B people with gmail addresses have proved her right.
2) Yahoo HAD the empire all sewn up, they were the #1 search engine for a long time. They forgot they were in the Search Business, and started to make the search site “sticky”, meaning they wanted to put news and photos and other crap that we now call “Clickbait” so that you’d spend more time on the site.
This was absolutely, the biggest mistake Yahoo ever made.
You know what Google’s search page looks like now? That was what YAHOO looked like in the early 1990’s. Just one input box, no distractions.
Go to Yahoo.com now, and it’s a horrible mess of ClickBait everywhere. In fact, I would say that Yahoo invented the ClickBait headlines of the modern Internet.
3) Yahoo’s direction changed so many times.. and their implementation of products was often in-a-rush, and not well designed. Example: It’s a known fact that Yahoo Chat / Messenger can be exploited to SEND MALWARE during a chat session. (this is why you never Yahoo chat with people from dating websites)
So, poor planning, poor implementation, in my aspects. Google understood from day One that Security was the first thing you’d have to get users to trust, before anything else.
Honestly, I think Google was just smarter than Yahoo: They realized that by owning the Search Engine, they could Own the Internet.
Marc Guberti says
Thank you for the valuable insights. You’ve been on the internet longer than I’ve been on this planet. It is amazing how a #1 company can be overtaken by an up and rising star. I did not know how poor Yahoo’s security was, and Google is secure. I am interested in seeing how close DuckDuckGo gets to Google since it does not track searches.
If you look at history of Yahoo!, 1997 was the hay day of their existence. Nothing looked like it could stop them, until the dotcom bubble burst. They were trying to expand into so many different things, that they lost focus on the core of their business, in steps Google. I think that if it was not Google it would have been someone else. Yahoo! was the problem with Yahoo! if you know what I mean.
I’m not so sure it would have been that easy, Marc. Yahoo! probably would have stifled a lot of the creativity that has made Google what it is today. Still, I agree that it was amazingly short-sighted of them to pass it up.
Marc Guberti says
Another reason is that Google would not have been a competitor. Yahoo! is ranked as the 4th most visited website in the world. If Google were not around, Yahoo! would be the go-to place for searching on the web. Yahoo! could have been #1 on the web.