Google is the absolute top dog among search engines. But what actually happened to the former competitor Yahoo and was the Google alternative doomed to failure?

The world of search engines these days is dominated by one company in particular. For decades, Google has been the first port of call for many online searchers.

The success of the search engine from Alphabet can now also be seen in the use of language. Because “googling” made it into the spelling dictionary for the first time as a verb in 2004.

But in the early years, Google's market dominance was not yet so pronounced. Whether Lycos or Yahoo – there was some competition on the market, especially in the 90s.

But why was a brand that was so successful at the time like Yahoo unable to establish itself, while Google now processes an average of 65,000 search queries per second?

Yahoo's beginnings were promising

30 years ago, the two Yahoo founders Jerry Yang and David Filo started their search engine. While they were studying at Stanford University, the two doctoral students at the time were working on a catalog for web addresses.

The catalog, called “Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web,” quickly became very popular. One more reason for the two founders to found Yahoo in 1995.

The IPO and internationalization are also not long in coming. Just one year after its founding, Yahoo went public and expanded to Japan, France and Great Britain. In 1997, Australia, Singapore and Denmark followed, among others.

Back then, Yahoo made money in a similar way to how many companies do today on the Internet: through advertising. But when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, Yahoo also began to stumble.

No escape from the crisis

Between collapsing advertising revenue and the introduction of payment services at Yahoo, Google comes onto the scene. The search engine, which was only founded in 1998, enjoyed great popularity relatively quickly.

However, Yahoo can't keep up. The company occasionally tried using the search technology of competitors such as Altavista and Google, but in 2004 it switched back to its own algorithm.

However, this cannot keep up with the ranking of search results used by Google. Because with Google, users receive more relevant search results. Only in Japan can Yahoo hold its own for a while longer.

The demise of Yahoo

In 2007, Microsoft tried to buy into Yahoo. However, the negotiations fail.

Microsoft is offering shareholders $44 billion. But the company itself wants nine euros more per share – even though Google has long since left its former rival behind.

Former Google manager Marissa Mayer, who took over management of the business in 2012, can no longer pull the cart out of the mud. Despite numerous expansion projects, the once popular search engine is no longer getting off the ground.

The remnants of Yahoo now belong to the US telecommunications group Verizon. The brand itself no longer exists; it has been renamed Altaba under the Verizon umbrella.

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