Home Yahoo Clings to Its Leading Web “Starting Points”

Yahoo Clings to Its Leading Web “Starting Points”

Yesterday we questioned whether Yahoo is focusing enough on its core products. We wrote that “Yahoo’s key properties remain yahoo.com, email, myyahoo, and even Answers can be considered special. In short, content is what continues to drive Yahoo and those core properties are still enormously popular.”

A leaked Yahoo memo has come to light today that further clarifies Yahoo’s product focus.

The memo is from Yahoo’s President Sue Decker, commenting to staff about the departure of EVP Jeff Weiner (via Techcrunch). The memo states that Yahoo’s “strategic objective” is “to be the leading starting point on the Web” (emphasis ours).

There’s nothing we didn’t know already, but it helps to pinpoint what Yahoo sees as its key products right now. Here is more from the memo:

“According to the just-released May ComScore metrics, Yahoo! continues to have the most engaged audience in the US with 37 billion total minutes in time spent, and is the most visited site in the US with 3.7 billion visits and an average of 26 visits per user. Yahoo!’s starting points each maintained the #1 (Homepage, My Yahoo!, Mail) or #2 (Search) positions in their categories, and our key content properties (Yahoo! News, Sports Finance and Entertainment) are each #1 in their categories.

We’re making amazing progress on our product initiatives, as evidenced by a number of key launches in the last few months including Search Monkey, SearchScan, Flickr video, Messenger 9.0, COKE, Glue, Shine and continued updates to Buzz and our key anchor properties. Additionally, we have an exciting product line-up in the coming months to continue to make progress on our Open and Social initiatives.”

In many respects, the horse has bolted in key ‘starting points’ as social networking (Facebook, MySpace), online video (YouTube), blogging (SixApart, WordPress, Blogger.com), Mobile (iPhone). However, as the memo emphasizes, Yahoo still leads the field in news, ‘start page’ (MyYahoo) and web mail.

Therefore we still think that Yahoo! should prune their Everything list and try to leverage their core content properties more smartly. As we mentioned yesterday, Yahoo Buzz is a good example of that, as is Answers and the recent SearchMonkey. Those projects will strengthen Yahoo’s vitally important content ‘starting points’.

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