When it comes to purchasing companies to expand their online empire, Yahoo! has a track-record equal to teams that just never showed up for the game. So, when Yahoo's Chief Technology Officer announced that the company was looking at purchasing a couple social media start-ups, everyone ducked for cover. Especially due to the fact that their 2006 purchase of Jumpcut has been unsuccessful and will be shutdown in June 2009.
Some of the bigger losses Yahoo! has sustained? Broadcast.com was purchased for 5.7 billion dollars, and GeoCities cost Yahoo! $3.6 Billion. GeoCities is closing in 2009, and Broadcast turned into LaunchCast which is also shutting down. Additionally, here are some of the other companies that just did not work out: Viaweb, YoYodyne, Arthas, MyQuest, eGroups, Kimo, Sold, Kelkoo, etc.
Despite these no-longer heard-ofs, Yahoo's CTO stated:
"It's a good time to be buying now," he said. "I can guarantee you there will be some acquisitions."
It would seem that the time to buy would have been several years ago, but who am I to judge? However, Yahoo! has not blown all of their purchases: 411 became Yahoo! Mail, and Classic Games became Yahoo! Games. Then, there is Overture, Flickr, and Right Media.
Overall, however, there has been more bad than good. To further muddy the waters, Yahoo! has released conflicting messages regarding search, saying that "less = more" in regard to search engine results, and a week later announcing "WOO," a series of search engine products based on the fact that the web is not made up of pages like we thought, but is made up of objects: Web Of Objects.
As goofy as that sounds Yahoo! was the only "big three" search provider to close on Friday showing a profit. Can I get a solid "WOO?"