Yahoo’s corporate suicide

We were restoring a bunch of old content into and had to remove every link to a Yahoo! page, e.g., their old directory or their finance service. Not a single link into any Yahoo! content or service was functional. How does a company manage to commit corporate suicide like this? How hard would it have been to put in some redirects?

Who else is this incompetent? Canon! While letting Nikon and Sony take away their customers they’ve been breaking inbound links to get rid of web site visitors. I had to remove all of the links to Canon’s site.

[Who does it better than Yahoo? 23-year-old links to Amazon still function, even if the product has been discontinued. Specialty photo gear supplier Tiffen preserved some database-driven links to its Domke camera bag pages. Digital camera review sites have preserved 18-year-old links.]

13 thoughts on “Yahoo’s corporate suicide

  1. Oh good I was hoping you would restore some of the old content on the Greenspun site. Like the photography guides especially.

  2. Some people are not good at web. How they get put in charge of websites is something of a mystery.

  3. Yahoo is a ZOMBIE CORPORATION. You can’t commit suicide as a zombie; yoou are already dead. They missed their chance to sell out to Microsoft for 10 times what they are worth today and has been the walking dead ever since. Who the hell uses yahoo for anything these days? Verizon is an IDIOT to buy them.

  4. Off-topic but about net-rot: philg, will this blog be affected by Harvard pulling down ?

    “With these two sets of issues in mind, we will end our operation of the platform in favor of a new platform managed by Harvard University’s Information Technology team. Specifics of that transition are being worked out, and we expect to roll out plans in collaboration with HUIT over the coming weeks.”

    “At this point, for all of the reasons set out above, we feel that the time for hosting content from non-Harvard-affiliated bloggers on Harvard servers has passed. We are giving non-Harvard users with active blogs the opportunity to export existing content over the coming weeks. Those users will then be transitioned off the platform.”

  5. whoa.. what? no more philg blog? say it ain’t so!!

    I’m guessing they were afraid to get sued:
    “The Center is increasingly faced with the types of thorny content moderation decisions that many online platforms that are subjects of our research face every day. Making discretionary judgments about speech (including offensive speech) within the context of an academic institution which maintains a commitment to academic freedom, with such a wide range of users (some much more and some much less connected to Harvard), on a platform that bears that institution’s name, at a time where alternative options abound, has become a tricky business. ”

    philg is just too much of a liability for Harvard XD

    where are we going to get our dose of social and political absurdity now?

  6. I was recently teaching at Harvard Medical School so that may have saved me!

    I think it would show a terrible lack of respect for Internet publishers’ and users’ time for Harvard to break links (force content off their servers and not provide redirects). But Yahoo didn’t have any respect and they should have been motivated by profit to show some respect by preserving links!

    The Harvard server was set up in a different time. Diversity of opinion was considered an Internet feature, not a bug. Now the goal is to suppress speech that is, well, “deplorable.” See

    for how the goal of the kinds of Americans who hang out at universities is to live a hate-free life (where “hate” is defined as any idea that they disagree with).

  7. Canon may have the most underwhelming products in the market, but they are still hanging on to their market share and even growing it thanks to their marketing prowess, albeit in a shrinking global market. The marketing edge probably explains the product complacency.

  8. Perhaps shamefully, I was kind of hoping that Harvard would eject Philip from their blogging platform… only because I was curious to see how our favorite internet software engineer would set up a new blog with today’s technology!

  9. Thanks, Trevis, but given that I would have to try to preserve the old content (even if it became tough to find; Google employees probably wouldn’t work overtime to make it easy to find ), I don’t see any realistic alternative to using WordPress (can import the old content, assuming a properly formatted export file).

    (Actually, to hold onto readers maybe the smartest thing to do would be migrate it all to Facebook somehow!)

  10. Why do you think it was a corporate suicide?
    It’s just that their business model no longer includes people like you and me. Competent or not, their income comes from elsewhere. And yes, that may include asset liquidation.
    It all depends on what you consider productive, and for their senior management, running down the firm’s assets before they retire is a valid business model. (Does anyone remember Marissa Mayer?)

  11. The problem with WordPress is its insecurity, which requires a constant battle to stave off. I switched to Hugo, a process that is unfortunately not effortless, but I couldn’t be happier. A bigger problem is that Phil doesn’t own his Harvard URL.

  12. I talked to Yahoo about 15 years ago about a job. They considered themselves a media company and stressed they are not a tech company. I noped pretty quickly out of there.

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