From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) is an American Internet services company. It operates an Internet portal and provides a full range of products and services including a search engine, the Yahoo! Directory and Yahoo! Mail. It was founded by Stanford graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo in January of 1994 and incorporated on March 2, 1995. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.
According to Web trends companies among others Alexa Internet and Netcraft, Yahoo! has been the most visited website on the Internet today with more than 412 million unique users. The global network of Yahoo! websites received 3.4 billion page views per day on average as of October 2005. In November 2006 Yahoo has been battling with MySpace for the top U.S. visited website online.
Yahoo! started out as "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web", a web site featuring a directory of other sites, organized in a hierarchy (rather than a searchable index of pages). It was renamed "Yahoo!" shortly thereafter. "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle" is a backronym for this name, but Filo and Yang insist they selected the name because they liked the word's general definition, as in Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift: "rude, unsophisticated, uncouth." As the backronymed version of the name implies, it was not the first directory of its kind, but it was the first to become widely popular as "the" directory of the fledgling Web. Yahoo! itself first resided on Yang's student workstation, "Akebono", while the software was lodged on Filo's computer, "Konishiki", both named after famous sumo wrestlers. The "yet another" phrasing goes back at least to the Unix utility yacc, whose name is an acronym for "yet another compiler compiler".
Yahoo! had its initial public offering on April 12, 1996, raising $338 million, by selling 26 million shares at USA$13 each. As Yahoo!'s popularity has increased, so has the range of features it offers, making it a kind of one-stop shop for all the popular activities of the Internet. These now include: Yahoo! Mail, a Web-based e-mail service, Yahoo! Messenger, an instant messaging client, a very popular mailing list service (Yahoo! Groups), online gaming and chat, various news and information portals, online shopping and online auction facilities. Many of these are based at least in part on previously independent services, which Yahoo! has acquired - such as the popular GeoCities free Web-hosting service, Rocketmail, and various competing mailing list providers such as eGroups. Many of these take-overs were controversial and unpopular with users of the existing services, as Yahoo! often changed the relevant terms of service. An example of this is their claiming intellectual property rights for the content on their servers, which the original companies had not done.
At the pinnacle of the Internet boom in the year 2000, the cable news station CNBC reported that Yahoo! and eBay were discussing a 50/50 merger., Although the merger never materialized the two companies decided to form a marketing/advertising alliance six years later in 2006. 
Yahoo! has partnerships with telecommunications and Internet providers - such as BT in the UK, Rogers in Canada, and AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth in the US - to create content-rich broadband services to rival those offered by AOL. The company offers a branded credit card, Yahoo! Visa, through a partnership with Chase.
Beginning in late 2002, Yahoo! began to bolster its search services by acquiring relevant companies. In December 2002, Yahoo! acquired Inktomi, and in July 2003, it acquired Overture Services, Inc. and its subsidiaries AltaVista and AlltheWeb.
In June 2005 Yahoo! acquired blo.gs, a service based on RSS feed aggregation, primarily from weblogs (hence the name), which produces a simple list (and also an RSS feed thereof) of freshly updated Weblogs, ordered according to recentness of update. blo.gs was the first Internet company hosted on a domain hack Yahoo! acquired, del.icio.us being the second.
- On April 7, 2005, Yahoo! announced that they would be providing free hosting for the Wikimedia foundation , . Yahoo! Search has also concentrated on improving Wikipedia integration .
- In late 2006, Yahoo began a campaign to upgrade their maps, to compete better with Google Local and other online map companies. Several of the maps used in the survey were similar to Google maps. The online survey is here.
- January 1994: Jerry Yang and David Filo create "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" while studying at Stanford University.
- April 1994: "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web" is re-named "Yahoo!"
- March 1995: Yahoo! is incorporated.
- 1995: Ziff Davis Inc. launches the magazine Yahoo! Internet Life, initially as ZD Internet Life. The magazine was meant to accompany and complement the web site.
- April 12, 1996: Yahoo! has Initial public offering, closing at $33.00, up 270% from the IPO price, after peaking at $43.00 for the day.
- June 8, 1998: Yahoo! acquires Viaweb, co-founded by Paul Graham, which becomes Yahoo! Store.
- October 12, 1998: Yahoo! acquires direct marketing company Yoyodyne Entertainment, Inc. 
- January 28, 1999: Yahoo! acquires Geocities.
- April 1, 1999: Yahoo! acquires Broadcast.com.
- January 3, 2000: Yahoo! stocks close at an all-time high of $475.00 (pre-split price) a share. The day before, it hit an intra-day high of $500.13 (pre-split price).
- January 19, 2000: At the height of the Dot-com tech bubble, shares in Yahoo! Japan became the first stocks in Japanese history to trade at over ¥100,000,000, reaching a price of 101.4 million yen ($962,140 at that time). 
- February 7, 2000: Yahoo.com was brought to a halt for a few hours as it was the victim of a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS).  . On the next day, its shares rose about $16, or 4.5 percent as the failure was blamed on hackers rather than on an internal glitch, unlike a fault with eBay earlier that year.
- June 28, 2000: Yahoo! acquires eGroups.
- March 7, 2001: Yahoo! CEO Tim Koogle announces he will step down and remain only a company board member.
- April 17, 2001: Terry Semel announced as the new Yahoo! CEO.
- September 26, 2001 Yahoo! stocks close at an all-time low of $8.11. The day before, it hit an intra-day low of $8.02 (both figures are pre-split prices).
- December 27, 2001: Yahoo! acquires HotJobs.
- June 3, 2002: SBC and Yahoo! Launch National Co-Branded Dial Service -- Press Release
- December 2002: Yahoo! Inc. starts acquisition of Inktomi Web search engine
- July, 2003: BT Openworld announces an alliance with Yahoo! -- Press Release
- July 2003, Yahoo! acquires Overture Services, Inc.
- January 19, 2004: Yahoo! Inc. announces the formation of Yahoo! Research Labs, a research organization focusing on the invention of new technologies and solutions for Yahoo!. Yahoo!'s Head and Principal Scientist, Dr. Gary William Flake, leads the new organization. Dr. Flake has since left the company and now works at Microsoft.
- February 19, 2004: Yahoo! drops Google-powered results, launching its own web-crawling algorithm and using its own site index after it had used Google's results for a long time.
- March 2004: Yahoo! launches its own search engine technology.
- March 1, 2004: Yahoo! announces (as cited in the New York Times article listed in the "References" section) that it will practice paid inclusion for its search service. However, it also announced it would continue to rely mainly on a free web crawl for most of its search engine content.
- March 25, 2004: Yahoo! acquires the European shopping search engine Kelkoo.
- July 9, 2004 Yahoo! acquires email provider Oddpost .
- December 15, 2004: Yahoo! launches beta version of its video search engine.
- February 9, 2005 Yahoo! Launch is changed to Yahoo! Music, which still provides free music.
- February 15, 2005 Yahoo! establishes its European Headquarters in Dublin, Ireland with the creation of 400 new jobs. 
- February 28, 2005 Yahoo! launches a developer network giving an API to most of its search verticals.
- March 2, 2005 Yahoo! completes 10 years of corporate existence. To celebrate this, it gives free ice cream coupons at Baskin Robbins to its users.
- March 20, 2005 Yahoo! acquires photo sharing service Flickr 
- March 29, 2005 Yahoo! launch blogging and social networking service Yahoo! 360°
- April 7, 2005 Wikimedia Foundation announces Yahoo! support 
- May 26, 2005 Yahoo! announces its new PhotoMail service
- June 14, 2005 Yahoo! acquires VoIP provider DialPad Communications.
- July 15, 2005 Yahoo! announces Yahoo! Research Berkeley
- July 25, 2005 Yahoo! acquires widget engine Konfabulator
- August 11, 2005 Yahoo! acquires 40% of Alibaba.com for $1 billion US, and Alibaba will take over operation of Yahoo! China. 
- August 23, 2005: Verizon and Yahoo! Launch Integrated DSL Service -- Press Release
- September 7, 2005. Yahoo! supplies information to People's Republic of China which then jails reporter Shi Tao, age 37, for 10 years. Yahoo! states that they were following Chinese law. 
- October 4, 2005 Yahoo! purchases online social event calendar Upcoming.org. 
- October 17, 2005 Yahoo! buys British company Whereonearth Ltd which provides location technology.
- November 15, 2005 The sports section of My Yahoo! is hacked; titles such as "selfhood + conscience" and "aesthetic freedom" link to various pages at doublereflection.org.
- December 1, 2005 - Tivo and Yahoo! form a partnership where several Yahoo! features can be viewed on television via the Series2 TiVO set top box. , 
- December 8/ (US time) 9, (Australian time) 2005 Yahoo! 7 announced for January 2006. Official Site
- December 9, 2005 Yahoo! acquires del.icio.us.
- January 9, 2006 Yahoo! acquires webjay
- February 12, 2006 Yahoo! Developer Network PHP Center launched.
- May 1, 2006 Yahoo! launches Yahoo! Tech.
- August 31, 2006 Yahoo! retires former frontpage.
- September 27, 2006 Yahoo! acquires online video editing site Jumpcut.
- September 29 to September 30, 2006 Yahoo! hosts an Open Hack Day(external site), featuring a musical performance by Beck
- December 5, 2006 Yahoo announces a significant re-organization, including the departure of Dan Rosensweig (COO), Lloyd Braun and John Marcom. Sue Decker is promoted from CFO, and other business unit shifts are made.
Criticism and controversy
Yahoo! paid inclusion controversy
In March 2004, Yahoo! launched a paid inclusion program whereby commercial websites are guaranteed listings on the Yahoo search engine after payment. This scheme is lucrative, but has proved unpopular both with website marketers (who are reluctant to pay), and the public (who are unhappy about the paid-for listings being indistinguishable from other search results). As of Oct 2006, Paid Inclusion doesn't guarantee any commercial listing, it only helps the paid inclusion customers, by crawling their site more often and by providing some statistics on the searches that led to the page and some additional smart links (provided by customers as feeds) below the actual url.
Yahoo! has also been criticized for funding spyware and adware — advertising from Yahoo!'s clients often appears on-screen in pop-ups generated from adware that a user may have installed on their computer without realizing it by accepting online offers to download software to fix computer clocks or improve computer security, add browser enhancements, etc. Similarly, Yahoo! has received adverse comment for bundling their Yahoo! toolbar with other software (Macromedia Flash 8 is an example) with installation being the default setting. The toolbar itself has been noted as taking up a lot of screen-space when installed. Also Windows users will find themselves unable to uninstall the toolbar by normal means on Internet Explorer. It can be uninstalled normally on Firefox.
Yahoo!, along with Google China, Microsoft, Cisco, AOL, Skype, and others, has cooperated with the Chinese government in implementing a system of Internet censorship in mainland China.
Many critics of these corporate policies argue that it is wrong for companies to profit from censorship and restrictions on freedom of the press and freedom of speech.
Human rights advocates such as Human Rights Watch and media groups such as Reporters Without Borders point out that if companies would stop contributing to the authorities' censorship efforts, the government could be forced to change.
Chinese blogger imprisonment controversy
In April 2005, Shi Tao, a journalist working for a Chinese newspaper, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by the Changsha Intermediate People's Court of Hunan Province, China (First trial case no 29), for "providing state secrets to foreign entities". The "secret", as Shi Tao's family claimed, refers to a brief list of censorship orders he sent from a Yahoo! Mail account to the Asia Democracy Forum before the anniversary of Tiananmen Square Incident.
The verdict stated Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) confirmed that an IP address, registered by a Hunan newspaper that Shi Tao worked for, accessed to the mail account at a particular time. He had sent the message through an anonymous Yahoo! account, but police had gone straight to his offices and picked him up. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is concerned with the ease with which Mr Shi had been caught. In April 2006, Yahoo! Holdings (Hong Kong) is under investigation by Hong Kong's Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data.
Criticism of Yahoo! intensified when the court document stated the company aided Chinese authorities in the case of dissident Li Zhi. In December 2003 Li Zhi was sentenced to 8 years imprisonment for "inciting subversion".
In recent months, Yahoo! has also followed the directive of United States government officials in turning over information which the United States deems as key for continuing its global war on terror. Yahoo! contends it must respect the laws of governments in jurisdictions where it is operating.
On 2 June 2006, the union representing journalists in the UK and Ireland (NUJ) called on its 40,000 members to boycott all Yahoo! Inc. products and services to protest the Internet company's reported actions in China. 
Chatrooms and message boards
As a result of media scrutiny relating to Internet child predators and a lack of significant ad revenues, Yahoo's "user created" chatrooms were closed down in June 2005. Yahoo! News' message board section was closed on December 19, 2006 [] due to the trolling phenomenon.
On May 25, 2006, Yahoo!'s image search was criticized for bringing up sexually explicit images even when SafeSearch was on. This was discovered by a teacher who was intending to use the service with a class to search for "www". Yahoo!'s response to this was, "Yahoo! is aware of this issue and is working to resolve it as quickly as possible". .
Yahoo! also connects people through groups. Popular Yahoo! groups include Fantasy Football, Cheapcycle, and personal groups.
- List of search engines
- List of acquisitions by Yahoo!
- Yahoo! Fantasy Sports
- GYM (technology) - Google/Yahoo/Microsoft
- YMSG - Yahoo! Messenger Protocol
- Official website
- Corporate milestones
- The History of Yahoo! - How It All Started...
Yahoo!-owned sites and services
This is a partial, alphabetized list. For a complete listing of the services see List of Yahoo! services.
- Ask Yahoo! – a question and answer column, http://ask.yahoo.com/
- Blo.gs – a directory of recently updated blogs, http://blo.gs/
- del.icio.us – popular social bookmarking site, http://del.icio.us/
- Dialpad – a phone company, http://www.dialpad.com/
- Flickr – popular photo sharing site, http://flickr.com/
- GeoCities – free web hosting service, http://geocities.yahoo.com/
- Jumpcut – video editing and sharing site, http://www.jumpcut.com
- Kelkoo – price comparison service for ten European countries – http://www.kelkoo.com/
- My Yahoo! – customizable portal, http://my.yahoo.com
- Upcoming.org – Social event calendar driven by people, http://www.upcoming.org/
- Webjay – playlist sharing community http://www.webjay.org/
- Yahoo! 360° – free blogging and social networking service, http://360.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! 7 – joint entity with Seven Network Australia, http://yahoo7.com.au
- Yodel Anecdotal – Yahoo!'s Corporate blog, – http://yodel.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Answers – a place where you can get your questions answered by real people in real time, http://answers.yahoo.com
- Yahoo! Avatars – http://avatars.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Auctions – an online auction site, http://auctions.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Autos – http://autos.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Assistant – a Browser Helper Object for Internet Explorer
- Yahoo! Briefcase – free file hosting service, http://briefcase.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Broadway – http://broadway.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Buzz Log – a column that talks about what people are searching Yahoo! for, http://buzz.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Developer Network – resources for software developers using Yahoo! technologies and Web services, http://developer.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Directory – hierarchical web directory, http://dir.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Finance – stock exchange rates and other financial information, http://finance.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Education – http://education.yahoo.com
- Yahoo! Food http://food.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Gallery – Directory of applications built by third-party developers using Yahoo! technology, http://gallery.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Games – playing games (i. e. on-line against other users), http://games.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Greetings – an e-card service with partners American Greetings, http://www.yahoo.americangreetings.com/
- Yahoo! Groups – electronic mailing list and internet forum, http://groups.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! HotJobs – job search engine, http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Kids – Children's version of the web portal. – http://kids.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Local – customized local information, http://local.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Mail – web-based email, http://mail.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Maps – mapping portal, http://maps.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Messenger – instant messaging client, http://messenger.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Mobile – Yahoo! for mobile phones, http://mobile.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Movies – showtimes, movie trailers, movie information, gossip, http://movies.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Music – Music videos and internet radio (LAUNCHcast) plus pay service Yahoo! Music Unlimited. http://music.yahoo.com/ and Yahoo! Music Engine.
- Yahoo! News – news updates and top stories at Yahoo! News, including world, national, business, entertainment, sports, weather, technology, and weird news. – http://news.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Personals – http://personals.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Photos – http://photos.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Podcasts (beta) – http://podcasts.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Publisher Network – advertising network, http://publisher.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Real Estate – http://realestate.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Research – http://research.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Search – web search engine, http://search.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Search Marketing – pay per click search engine, http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Shopping – shopping search & compare, http://shopping.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Small Business – domains, web hosting and ecommerce services, http://smallbusiness.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Soccer Manager – online soccer game, http://uk.soccermanager.yahoo.net/
- Yahoo! Sports – scores, stats, and fantasy sports, http://sports.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Tech – product information and advice, http://tech.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! The 9 – A daily video compilation of the coolest, strangest, and funniest stuff on the web. http://9.yahoo.com
- Yahoo! Time Capsule – a time capsule that will re-open in the year 2020. http://timecapsule.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Travel – travel guides, booking and reservation, http://travel.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! TV – TV listings, scheduling recordings on Tivo box remotely http://tv.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Video – Video sharing site http://video.yahoo.com/
- Yahoo! Widgets – a cross-platform desktop widget runtime environment, formerly called Konfabulator
- Yahoo! You Witness News – Yahoo! service invites people to upload images and videos of news events. http://news.yahoo.com/you-witness
Information about Yahoo!
- Yahoo!'s most recent conference call transcripts
- Yahoo! Yodel Anecdotal - Yahoo!'s corporate blog
- Mail & Guardian online (South Africa) – Watchdog says Yahoo! gave data on jailed journalist to Chinese government.
- Yahoo! Security Center - Guide to Online Security
- History of Yahoo!
- CNET reviews of Yahoo products
- Yahoo, Newspapers Enter into Ad, Content Dist. Deal