17+ Yahoo! Facts to Remind You of the One-Time Giant
Updated · Mar 06, 2023
At this point, you’re probably wondering: “Are these guys kidding me?”.
And deservedly so.
When most Millennials and their predecessors hear Yahoo!, they probably think of crickets. Dramatically silent crickets.
Gen Z, on the other hand, would probably need a refresher on what kind of online being this Yahoo! thing is.
The truth is that Yahoo! is alive but not really kicking as much as Google and other top dogs.
Some things are best left forgotten, but for all ye curious folk, we have gathered an awesome collection of Yahoo! facts to put you in that nostalgic mood.
Fascinating Facts about Yahoo! (Editor’s Choice)
- Yahoo! came out in 1994, which means it will mark a 30-year anniversary in 2024.
- The number one search on Yahoo! has been about COVID-19 since the beginning of 2020.
- Google bags 92% of the search engine market share, leaving Yahoo! with a scant 1.51% of the market.
- Yahoo!’s history with acquisition is tricky. It could have acquired Google not only once, but twice, yet it didn’t.
- Yahoo! also could have struck a good acquisition deal with Microsoft in 2018. Alas, it (also) didn’t.
- Yahoo!’s popularity is highest among those older than 65.
- Yahoo!’s famous exclamation mark was added because “Yahoo” was already the trademark of a largely unknown sauce company.
- Bing is the driving force behind Yahoo! Search.
Let’s start this off with an assortment of fun facts about this internet dinosaur, like who came up with the brand’s name (and were they in their right mind)?
Seek no further and dive below.
1. From humble beginnings…
When was Yahoo! created?
In 1994, Stanford graduates Jerry Yang and David Filo had a dream—one that bore the very down-to-earth name of “Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web”.
By 1998, Jerry and David’s initially unpretentious guide already offered a webmail service, online search, shopping, news, games, and much, much more.
So, as you see, for many Web enthusiasts at the time, Yahoo! was almost synonymous with the Internet itself.
2. In the 80s, “yahoo” was slang for a backwoodsy southerner.
Many of us old-time users have pondered at some point in our netizen lives: how did Yahoo! get its name in the first place?
Although Yahoo might sound like a cry of joy taken from a popular comic book, it actually stands for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle”. Not very easy to remember, we know.
The idea is that Yahoo! is an online search service that houses the endless wisdom and information on the Internet within itself.
3. Why the exclamation mark?
According to semi-official Yahoo! information, the exclamation mark after its name was not initially planned. It was later added because the term “Yahoo” was the property of a company specializing in barbecue sauces.
Fun fact: A small part of Yahoo! Separated from the main company and became known as Altaba. Yeah—people on Twitter had their fun with that one.
4. Yahoo! stopped being Yahoo! for four years.
(Source: The Verge)
In 2017, everyone thought that Yahoo! was a goner when Verizon bought it for $4.5 billion. It was even termed “the saddest $5 billion deal in tech history”.
Yet, this doesn’t give a clear idea who owns Yahoo! right now.
The tables turned once more in 2021 when Apollo Global Management purchased Yahoo! and AOL—Verizon Media’s top acquisitions—for $5 billion. As far as trade deals go, this sounds like a winner when you consider that Verizon originally bought them for $9 billion.
Fun fact: Yahoo!’s IPO was by far the biggest for a technological startup in 1996. The company closed its first day as a public company with a $848 million market cap. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
5. Yahoo! has been using Bing for years.
(Source: Velocity Consultancy)
At this point, you’re probably confused. Why use Bing? Aren’t Bing and Yahoo! fierce competitors?
To put it in simple terms, Yahoo! Search is no longer a search engine but a portal—it utilizes the Yahoo! design but brings back Bing results.
And this isn’t exactly a new thing. Bing was the sole engine responsible for powering Yahoo! Search from 2011-2015. Then, they opened their relationship, allowing other search engines (namely, Google) to contribute, only to go back to the original arrangement in 2019.
Yahoo vs. Google Market Share in 2022
By this point, we’ve already given you some pretty big hints about the way this competition is going. Although, to be fair, you’d have to be living under a rock not to have an inkling about it.
Still, let us explore this corporate rivalry more thoroughly.
6. Does anyone even use Yahoo! anymore?
Last we heard, Yahoo! had around 204 million loyal users across the US. And there were 700 million individuals that visited at least one of Yahoo!’s pages.
Believe it or not, there are still people who surf on their phones, purposefully going to the Yahoo! landing page, typing their query, and hitting “Search” with an aristocratic puff of derision towards Google mainstreamers. Enough of them to earn Yahoo! Search the title of the most valuable segment of the company.
Fun fact: The search portal accounted for more than 50% of Yahoo!’s total revenue in 2016, bringing in $2,673 million.
7. How many people use Yahoo! Mail?
It comes as no surprise that Google’s dominance of the market has left a meager amount of people who still prefer Yahoo! Mail. The most recent stats put the number at around 200 million active users, who collectively exchange roughly 26 billion emails per day.
To be fair, though, Yahoo! ranks among the oldest email providers along with Hotmail. But then Gmail came along in 2009 and, well, older providers were gradually forgotten.
What’s the email industry like here and now?
Well, ProtonMail and Zoho are just two of the newest and freshest competitors in the market. And while they certainly won’t oust Gmail anytime soon, they’re here to shake up the digital party.
8. Okay, but who exactly is (still) using Yahoo!?
According to the latest Yahoo! facts available, Yahoo! Mail was most popular with the oldest generation, as 31% of those above 65 years opted for it in 2017. On the other end of the spectrum, only 19% of those in their 20s trusted it with their email correspondence.
For comparison, 61% of the 18-29 age group and 24% of the 65+ cohort prefer Gmail.
9. Yahoo! users vs. Google users: A few observations.
(Source: Search Engine Land)
Google users seem to be the biggest fans of mobile use (80%), whereas the mobile penetration rate amounts to only 58% for Yahoo! users.
In terms of daily usage, Google and Yahoo! come quite close. 80% of Yahooers and 83% of Googlers use their preferred search tab everyday.
Fun fact: There are more women than men using Google (54% vs 46%), but with Yahoo!, it’s the other way around.
10. Google’s unbeatable lion share surpasses 90%.
Google holds 92.01% of the total search engine market share in 2022. Bing comes in second place with 2.96%, whereas Yahoo! takes 1.51% of the total pie.
The runners-up include Baidu (1.17%), Yandex (1.06%) and DuckDuckGo (0.68%).
As you see, even if all its competitors were to miraculously unite forces, they’d still stand no chance of dethroning Google.
Fun fact: Back in 2019, Yahoo! ranked as the 10th most popular domain. As of 2021, the website has made it all the way to the 7th place in terms of monthly visits. Granted, Yahoo!’s 2.63 billion total visits seem meager compared to Google’s 45.41 billion, but it’s still worth noting.
11. People in the US prefer local search engines.
The search engine market share in the US reflects the global trends very closely. Google shines brightly once more with 87.61%, whereas Bing and Yahoo! trail behind with 6.31% and 3.23%, respectively.
DuckDuckGo accounts for 2.51%, Germany’s Ecosia brings in 0.1%, Russia’s Yandex holds a mere 0.08%, and Chinese-based Baidu does not even feature in the list.
12. Yahoo! vs. Google: Usage showdown.
Google is even more popular when it comes to mobile search. It has taken the market by storm (94.79%), leaving Baidu and Yahoo! with 2.22% and 0.83% of the global market, respectively.
Yandex (0.81%), Bing (0.5%) and DuckDuckGo (0.45%) follow with an even smaller user base.
13. Yahoo! related search is also a thing.
(Source: SEO PowerSuite)
Contrary to popular belief, this bonus functionality isn’t exclusive to Google.
If you’re feeling adventurous, next time your fingers itch to google the answer to a random question, go to Yahoo! instead.
Once you hit the “Search” button, Yahoo! will give you some suggestions that it believes might interest you based on your query. There’s the “Also try” link, the “People Also Ask” section, and the “Ads” box, all with related phrases so you can complement your research.
Some Not-So-Fun Facts About Yahoo!
It’s safe to say that if Larry Page and Sergey Brin had never had their breakthrough, we’d probably be using Yahoo! for more than just immediately typing “Google” on the search bar.
And on that note, here are a few more uncomfortable truths. Enjoy!
14. Yahoo!’s revenue was $5.2 billion in 2016.
Despite its golden-goose promises, Yahoo!’s light dimmed under Google’s shadow, and its revenues began dwindling after reaching its all-time summit in 2008 ($7.2 billion).
After Verizon acquired Yahoo!, it no longer disclosed revenues separately, so we can only guess the amount it’s bringing in nowadays.
15. Yahoo! missed its chance to win (twice).
Brace yourself for what’s perhaps one of the most cringe-worthy Yahoo! facts.
In 1998, the two founders of an obscure tech startup were looking to sell it for $1 million. Their motive? The college dropouts wanted to pick up their education at Stanford. Yahoo! declined.
In 2002, the same two fellows made a second offer for $5 billion. Yahoo! considered the price exorbitantly high and refused to buy it.
Google—the startup Yahoo! did not deem important enough to buy—is now worth more than $1 trillion.
16. How much is Yahoo! worth?
Yahoo!’s peak value was $125 billion (before the dotcom bubble crash), which is about $193 billion in today's dollars. By 2016, just before Verizon absorbed it, the company’s market cap had fallen down to little more than $30 billion.
Then, in a more tragic turn of events, Apollo Global acquired both Yahoo! and AOL as a bundle for a little less than $5 billion. Ouch.
17. History (somewhat) repeats itself.
The awkward facts about Yahoo! don’t end there.
Funnily enough, Microsoft was interested in acquiring Yahoo! for $45 billion back in 2008. As you might have guessed, Yahoo! declined. According to the then-owners, the price was insultingly low for the brand.
Oh, the irony.
Fun fact: Microsoft’s biggest acquisition to date is LinkedIn. Back in 2016, the social network agreed to stand under Bill Gates’ umbrella for a modest $26 billion.
18. Cybersecurity isn’t Yahoo!’s forte.
Back in 2016, Yahoo! admitted to a couple of security breaches from years past. Given how long Yahoo! has been around, you might think that a couple of security breaches aren’t that bad. But trust us—they are.
Unfortunately, the company’s response left a lot to be desired. Not only did it disclose the security breaches years later, but it also downplayed the magnitude of the incident.
First, it claimed that only 500 million (2014) and one billion (2013) accounts were affected. A few months later, Yahoo! admitted that the total count for the 2013 breach was actually three billion compromised accounts, making it one of the biggest data breaches to date.
Yahoo! paid $50 million in compensation and gave the victims free access to credit monitoring services for two years.
Note: If you want to take preemptive measures to protect your identity, we’d recommend getting a password manager and an identity theft protection service.
19. Yahoo!’s top searches: What do Yahooers want to know about?
To no one’s surprise, COVID-19 has lingered at the top of online search since this pandemic business began. And it might likely stay that way for a few more months (we dared not write “years”).
Between 2019-2020, Yahoo!’s search trends featured “Donald Trump”, “Corona vaccination”, “Melania Trump”, “FC Bayern” and “Purple roses”.
Fun fact: The 2021 top search terms on Google showed “yahoo mail” in 10th place (with 422.03 million total searches) and “yahoo” in 12th (with 341.65 million searches).
So is Yahoo! dead yet?
Not just yet. Yahoo! refuses to give up even in the face of the overwhelming juggernaut that is Google.
The Yahoo! facts that we presented above give off an irresistible whiff of nostalgia for the 90s or early-2000’s, bringing us back to when the Internet was a true terra incognita for the global population to explore.
The glory of that Yahoo! is perhaps gone for good now, but that certainly doesn’t stop 700 million people from surfing through Yahoo!’s numerous services even in the height of 2022.
Unaware that life beyond the internet exists, Nick is poking servers and control panels, playing with WordPress add-ons, and helping people get the hosting that suits them.