At one point the internet was small enough that a single directory of websites could help people find what they were looking for. Back in the mid-nineties when Yahoo controlled the web, people found websites by looking through lists of pages categorized by topic.
Compared to a Google search, this was primitive. Yet it started the company we know today as Yahoo. And almost twenty years after it was launched, Yahoo is retiring its directory service. In recent a press release Yahoo states:
“Yahoo was started nearly 20 years ago as a directory of websites that helped users explore the Internet. While we are still committed to connecting users with the information they’re passionate about, our business has evolved and at the end of 2014 (December 31), we will retire the Yahoo Directory. Advertisers will be upgraded to a new service; more details to be communicated directly.”
Yahoo Directory has been ‘dead’ for years now, so this decision is to be expected. Still, it says something about the future of the web. At one point Yahoo was the internet giant and Google was the plucky startup. Now Google has become Goliath, and there’s a chance for another startup to take its place in history.