Clearly Marissa didn't join Yahoo! to continue her predecesor's strategy i.e. focus on content. So the question is, what could be the next viable option that Marissa should pursue. A hint in that regard is given in the Jason Del and Michael Learmoth article:
Ms. Mayer represented what Yahoo could become, a company that builds products instead of chasing search -- as it did for nearly a decade -- and social, which is now sapping the company of its once-formidable engagement with users.
The real question is what could that mean?
The elephant in the room
Yahoo runs Hadoop on 42,000 servers--that's 1,200 racks--in four data centers. Its largest Hadoop cluster is 4,000 nodes, but that will increase to 10,000 with the release of Apache Hadoop 2.0, expected...
Yahoo uses Hadoop for its own internal analysis of information captured from user interactions. It stores 140 petabytes in Hadoop. Since Hadoop keeps all data sets in triplicate, over 400 petabytes of storage are needed to sustain its systems.
- Yahoo! can advise advertisers on the demographic that responds best to their campaigns so that they can adjust their ads as necessary to appeal to the widest audience. According to Burke, this can lead to improved results, sometimes even doubling expected response rates.
- Yahoo's data indicates not only who is viewing advertising, but also how much time they're spending on it, what their click-through rate is, and what they do on the Yahoo site after viewing an ad. This is all valuable feedback to advertisers, as it lets advertisers make decisions early in an ad campaign, and helps them plan their future advertising strategies.
What Yahoo should become? - The Web Analytics Company
Marissa already indicated its intent to move from the search business and into products but the real question is what that means.
- Hadoop as a Service - similar to Amazon Elastic Map Reduce (EMR) but significantly simpler and richer with built-in analytics and reporting tools.
- Analytics PaaS - similar to GAE but focused in the area of Analytics where it would give users the ability to build apps that specialize in data analytics, rather than serving web apps or mobile apps.
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- Predicting The Strange Future Relationship of Yahoo!, Google, and Facebook
- Yahoo Has Seen Its Future; In One Word, It's Products
- How Yahoo Spawned Hadoop, the Future of Big Data
- Yahoo And Hadoop: In It For The Long Term