In the continuing saga of web sites that I frequented as a teenager disappearing, Yahoo! Inc. announced that their directory search service has been taken offline. Attempts to reach http://dir.yahoo.com for comment haven’t even been met with a redirection page. Yahoo has been an internet staple since 1994 when they first introduced their directory-style search engine, back when that was a thing. While other such 90’s internet icons as Alta Vista and GeoCities have gone the way of the dodo, Yahoo has continued to hang on.
Yahoo.com has morphed over the years from directory-based search “engine” to a web portal (remember when those were the killer app?) to… well, it’s not entirely clear what they are these days. They still offer decent search, e-mail, and chat services, though most of those are widely considered second-fiddle to Google. In the last few years they have been sustaining themselves by adding additional companies to their portfolio, though looking at their balance sheet over the past few years shows them stagnant at best. Perhaps it’s for the best that they shed some dead weight. Honestly, can you remember the last time you browsed searched the internet using a directory? If you’re under the age of 25, I’m guessing the answer is never.
I appreciate them hanging on, despite it all. Somebody needs to continue to keep Google’s internet services on their toes, even if it’s their old alumni, Marissa Mayer. Lycos/Hotbot/Tripod/Angelfire certainly aren’t. In other news, did you know that they are all one company now and still around? I haven’t thought of them since my friends talked about logging on to America OnLine and then… maybe going to this thing outside of it call the internet.
Update – Evidently, the directory is supposed to persist until the end of the year, but it appears that everybody is going to look at the dinosaur one last time to pay their respects and the server’s not keeping up with the load. I’m betting that they still have it on the exact same hardware it started out on in 1994. Or maybe a laptop in Jerry Yang’s) closet.