Yahoo! Back on Top at the Expense of its Execs


The days of Google reigning supreme as the internet’s top dog may be coming to an end, as Yahoo! is once again the hottest property on the web.

According to ComScore’s  Top 50 US Web properties list, Yahoo sites have the highest number of unique visitors to date, clocking in at 196,564 million unique visitors.  It managed to secure top spot from Google, which had 192,251 million unique visitors during the same period.  Moreover, Yahoo even outranked Google when it came to ad focused entities, with  an 87.2 percent reach compared to the latter’s 80.6 percent reach.

You might be thinking that Yahoo’s success has something to do with its acquisition of Tumblr, but surprisingly that’s not the case – ComScore’s list shows that the blogging platform was ranked at number 28 with 38,367 million unique visitors, which means that Tumblr and Yahoo’s numbers weren’t combined, even if it’s now a Yahoo service.

“Tumblr is not currently included in the Yahoo! Sites roll-up. Seems there are other factors at play, and given how close Yahoo Sites and Google have been in recent months it can likely just be normal seasonal/month-to-month fluctuations,” ComScore clarified.

Yahoo had been on top of the list until 2008 when Google managed to steal its crown. Since then, there was only one time, in May of 2011, when Yahoo briefly managed to take back its crown, until this month’s results anyhow.  As ComScore stated, it could be a seasonal fluctuation or it could very well be that Marissa Mayer, Yahoo’s CEO is doing something right.

Image courtesy ComScore


Acquisitions galore


In recent months, the CEO has spearheaded acquisitions that hints the company is focusing on its mobile efforts.  The company has recently acquired Tumblr; GhostBird Software, creators of iOS photography apps KitCam and PhotoForge2, to improve Flickr,  Rondee, a conference calling service; Loki Studios, a mobile gaming company made popular by its location-aware game Geomon; GoPollGo, a social polling site which has Twitter and Facebook integration that lets brands and media properties collect and analyse feedback; Astrid, a to-do list and personal assistant mobile app; and MileWise which developed an app that optimizes travel rewards; Summly, and

The acquisitions were made to improve Yahoo’s Social and mobile services.  Yahoo also announced a new flagship iOS app back in April which condenses news stories using technology from Summly.  It was reported back in June that it is also looking to acquire Foursquare, the location-based social network.  The acquisition would surely help Yahoo get around the social and mobile realm but recent reports stated that the two companies are now in talks for a possible data partnership instead of an acquisition.

“We’re getting a lot of data back that’s actually making our product better,” Holder Luedorf, head of business development at Foursquare, said. “We have a good amount of photos in our database attached to venues coming back from Instagram, for example.”

The Mayer effect


Though many were questioning the savability of Yahoo, SiliconANGLE CEO and Founder John Furrier never doubted that the company could be once again successful.  Furrier sees Mayer as the right package for a successful Yahoo turnaround.

“Marissa Mayer is going to be leading a massive army of greatness of Yahoo to the world,” Furrier stated in a previous interview.

One of her first actions as CEO was bringing Google Executive Henrique de Castro to Yahoo’s yard and naming him the company’s  chief operating officer.  Mayer herself came from Google and bringing one of her colleagues with may have made the transition easier for her as there’s a sense of familiarity. However, it’s more likely that Mayer just believes de Castro is really good as his job.

The Expendables


Unfortunately, as Mayer built her crew of tight-knit of executives, some of Yahoo’s older execs have felt a little out of place as the company slowly turns into Google.  One by one, some of the most seasoned Yahoo execs have left the company.  Yahoo chief information security officer Justin Somaini resigned last January.  This was followed by Fred Amoroso, the firm’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, who left the company because Mayer was not his first choice as Yahoo’s CEO.  And more recently, Mickie Rosen, head of Global Media & Commerce at Yahoo, stepped down from her position in July.  Some believe that more Yahoo execs are expected to follow in their steps, especially the execs that aren’t part of Mayer’s tight knit executive team.

But based on ComScore’s numbers, Mayer is definitely doing something right as people are now coming back to using Yahoo services.  Unfortunately, she may be focusing so much on pleasing Yahoo’s customers that she’s forgetting the people responsible for helping to make the company better.  Then again, it could just be that Mayer thinks everyone can be replaced, and as long as Yahoo keeps its customers happy, they’d be able to find execs to replace the ones that have moved on.