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Why Marissa Mayer Will Not Save Yahoo Search?

Does anyone remember the excitement when Marissa Mayer was appointed the chief executive of Yahoo in July 2012? Of course most in the digital and search industry will definitely remember it like it happened yesterday because most predicted Yahoo search to steal some market share form Google and Bing. The news of her appointment to Yahoo was significant due to the fact that she was from Yahoo’s main competitor Google and also the fact that Marissa Mayer is a young woman executive in one of the world’s largest tech companies.

It has been a year and a half since Marissa Mayer took over at Yahoo. And the big question to ask is; have there been any improvements to Yahoo search platform in that time period? The focus is on search specifically because that’s where Yahoo has been 3rdnd best to Google and Bing for many years. If statistics are anything to go by, then Yahoo search performance has regressed when coming to the search market share in 2013 compared to 2012 when Marissa Mayer first took over. In August 2012 Yahoo search market share in the US was standing at 12.2% and that number dropped to 11.4% in August 2013 as reported by comScore.

Yahoo might have acquired some small tech startups like Qwiki and Jybe in that period to boost their credibility as a tech giant, but when coming to search they are lagging behind due to their lack of diverse approach when coming to global search. Some would have thought that under Marissa Mayer Yahoo will start competing globally when coming to search instead of focusing solely on the US market because she spent many years at Google. But it seems like even Marissa Mayers cannot save Yahoo from what some might call “regional tendencies” when coming to search. Marissa Mayer might have all the experience from Google, but at Yahoo she is surrounded by the same people who have struggled to make Yahoo search compete globally and Marissa alone cannot take Yahoo search to the top of the search hierarchy.

Maybe its high time Marissa Mayer and the rest of Yahoo search executives considered its search interface because it is one of the main reasons many users mistaken it for an only news site instead of a search engine. Compared to Google and Bing, Yahoo search is giving a lot of messages at the same time. Yahoo search interface seems to be all over the place and until they sort that out, they will never reach their full potential as a major search engine and Google will continue to reign as the number search engine in the world. Maybe this cluster of information on Yahoo search interface makes them unique, but the main question is how the message is conveyed to the users and at the moment a lot of users get confused when they enter Yahoo search home page hence a lot of them are using Google and Bing as their first and second choice search engines respectively. Yahoo has a big share market when coming to US, but that is only a small of piece of the search market.

It’s been over a year and half since Marissa Mayer took over at Yahoo and it seems like Yahoo search market is slowly but surely going down, and some would have thought that with her vast knowledge of search coming from Google things would have been different by now. Maybe Marissa Mayer is still focusing on buying small tech startups at the moment and she will put on her search strategy cap when she is done acquiring all the promising tech companies. But at the moment Yahoo search is steadily regressing and losing a lot of their market to Bing.

Vent and give me your piece of mind in the comments below if you do not agree with me.

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Mashilo J Mothemane
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Mashilo J Mothemane

Mashilo is a digital marketing strategist with primary focus on SEO and search. keeping up with the industry trends and coming up with tangible SEO strategies is his daily bread.
Mashilo J Mothemane
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