(Yahoo!, Sunnyvale, CA, www.yahoo.com) The most diversified information portal on the Web. Along with search, news, sports and weather, Yahoo! offers email, instant messaging, travel, auctions, classified ads, financial data, discussion groups, Web hosting and numerous other services.
It Began with Search
When it launched in 1995, Yahoo! was the first Web search site to gain worldwide attention. It distinguished itself in the early days because it created its indexes manually. Instead of sending out automated spiders that roamed the Web and indexed everything in sight, indexing specialists decided what categories a Web page fit in. As a result, Yahoo! called itself a "directory," rather than a search engine. As the Web grew exponentially, it became too large to index manually, and Yahoo! employed automated methods.
A Student Hobby
In 1994, Stanford Ph.D candidates Jerry Yang and David Filo began indexing interesting websites as a hobby. "Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web" turned into Yahoo!, meaning "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle!" A very successful IPO followed in 1996, and within a few years, Yahoo! became a major global brand worldwide.
From Yahoo! to Oath and Altaba
Valued at $67 billion prior to the dot-com bust, Yahoo! began to slide ever since. Although Microsoft offered $44 billion to buy the company in 2008, Yahoo! declined. Nine years later in 2017, Verizon acquired Yahoo!'s Internet businesses for $5 billion. Combined with Verizon's acquisition of AOL in 2015, an umbrella company was formed and named Oath. Retaining their own brands, more than 50 media and tech sites are part of Verizon Media Group (formerly Oath), including all the Yahoo! sites and services, AOL, TechCrunch, tumblr and engadget.
What remained of Yahoo! not acquired by Verizon was renamed Altaba ("alternate to Alibaba"), which owns roughly 15% of the Chinese Internet giant (see Alibaba