Overhaul, or Tune-Up at Yahoo?

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, the “major overhaul” in progress by returning CEO Jerry Yang may turn out to be less than major after all.

Yang is about halfway through a 100-day plan he announced in July, saying, “I intend to spend the next 100 days mapping out a game plan and working with Sue, Filo, Blake, and the team to put the right organization in place and make any necessary changes. We need to invest in areas that are most critical to our success and de-emphasize those that are underperforming or match up with our priorities. There will be no sacred cows.”

However, sources have told the WSJ that “Yang has internally played down the significance of the 100-day timeline and that no big strategic announcements are planned at the end of that period next month.”

One likely outcome of the review is a trimming of activities, such as Yahoo Music, in favor of increasing focus on traffic-driving efforts like the Yahoo home page, Yahoo Finance, and Yahoo Mail.

One thing that Yahoo will not do is outsource its search advertising business, according to the WSJ. Sources tell the Journal that the possibility of partnering with Google or Microsoft for search ads was seriously looked at, but Yang decided against it. A source claims that Yang did so in order to keep control of all marketing channels as a “marketing operating system,” which would be hard to do without controlling the search advertising that makes up nearly half of online spending.

Some changes have already been made. At the end of August, Yahoo restructured its sales group, putting Hilary Schneider in charge of a group overseeing ad sales and publisher relationships, and giving back some responsibilities for local and commerce sites to Jeff Weiner.

Last week, Yahoo announced plans to acquire BlueLithium, a provider of behavioral targeting technology that could be used to better target Yahoo’s display ads.

Related reading

Search engine results: The ten year evolution
Five ways PPC customer support can help SMBs
#GoogleDoBetter The latest on internal issues at Google and Alphabet
Google Sandbox Is it still affecting new sites in 2019