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The Rise of Yahoo – What Happened and How does it Affect Their Future?

Posted on 12.15.2014

As 2014 comes to a close, we’re beginning to look forward to the year ahead. Yahoo has seen dramatic changes in their approach as a search engine mogul, and could be in store for a record-setting 2015. Recently unleashing a new design, 2014 was filled with new announcements and new acquisitions for Yahoo, all of which were carefully orchestrated by CEO Marissa Mayer to expand their growth as a global force in search.

The biggest and most talked about change of the year was Mayer’s deal with Mozilla to become the default search engine of Firefox. The change took effect as December begun, and the updated Firefox 34 gave Yahoo three times more search traffic in its early stages. Though many were skeptical of the business decisions and the various start-ups bought by Mayer, the search engine has made tremendous gains toward becoming Google’s top competitor in search.

How Does Mozilla Affect Yahoo?
Firefox is head-to-head with Internet Explorer as the second leading web browser in the world, behind Google’s Chrome, which controls a large share of the search traffic. The partnership with Mozilla to replace Google as its default search engine will earn thousands—if not millions—of additional search queries for Yahoo. In turn, the ads seen on the platform will multiply tenfold. Firefox has a share of about 15 percent in the US market.

Even if you’re not using Firefox, Yahoo is encouraging you do so. When you’re using Chrome and visit Yahoo.com, you’re given the choice to upgrade to the newest version of Firefox. Next time you visit the site, check out the top right corner of your window.

What Else has Yahoo Done to See Advances?
Yahoo has been on a spending spree since the day they hired Mayer to be their CEO. What has that done? Just tripled Yahoo’s stock price. Everything from video sharing platforms to photo to social channels, blogs, advertising, messaging, online video advertising, and mobile.

We’re living in a mobile world, and the biggest acquisitions—and changes—have been made in an effort to grow the company through mobile. As Mayer says, Yahoo is a mobile first company. Look back to January and their acquisition of Aviate, a mobile company that organizes the apps on your phone. It’s a cleaner look for a personalized experience. Plug your headphones in, your music apps appear front and center. Get in your car, see transit options like Maps, Waze or TripAdvisor depending on your installed apps. If you’re at a restaurant, read the latest Yelp reviews. All without leaving your home screen. Content on-demand.

Speaking of on-demand in a mobile world, shoppers are converting on their smartphones. Black Friday sales in 2014 eclipsed PC sales for the first time in history. Yahoo gave online stores the platform to prepare. Their new e-commerce display, Yahoo Stores, allows you to create a one-of-a-kind shopping experience with ease. Real-time analytics to increase your traffic and conversions, powerful schema and promotional tools, and responsive designs for the device you’re using.

How Yahoo Stands in Mobile
The technology acquired in the Mayer era has been used to increase Yahoo’s presence for mobile users. In 2014, over half a billion users visited Yahoo sites on their mobile device. Mayer has more than doubled their mobile presence since 2012. Let put this in perspective. From Q3 of 2013 to Q3 of 2014, mobile saw a greater than 100% growth rate in mobile.

One of the leading factors in the growth: Flurry. Bought out in July 2014, the mobile analytics tracker will provide developers and publishers of apps with information on the performance of their users/audience, how apps are being used, and how to target ads that make users more likely to convert.

As of December 2014, Yahoo ranks third behind Google and Facebook in mobile traffic. That’s enough to put them ahead of Twitter, which could be a sign of things to come in the future.

Where will Yahoo see Themselves in 2015 and Beyond? Building on mobile, Mayer is going to look to transform search on your devices. Search experiences will be different when utilizing your smartphone, and the partnership with Mozilla, as well as the implementation of Flurry’s technology has Yahoo on a path to change the landscape of how we use our mobile devices for search.

Mayer has already planned the first-ever Yahoo mobile conference for developers, set for a February event. Look for new products and new technologies for app creations. One thing is certain. Yahoo is on a mission to provide users with an innovative search experience. Over two years of acquisitions and effort put into mobile has seen Yahoo get out in front of this shift in user experience.

As mobile continues to rise, and Yahoo stays true to their word as a mobile-first organization, it will be interesting to see how they compare to the likes of Google and Facebook at this time next year. With Mayer at the helm, and her ability to use mobile to grow the company, don’t expect them to be too far behind.

About the Author: Ryan Clutter is a Content Writer for 1SEO.com, a digital marketing agency in the Philadelphia region. Ryan spends his days researching the best strategies in SEO content marketing while writing for dozens of clients to enhance their online presence. www.1seo.com 

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