Yahoo! At a Glance

As You know, it’s hard to believe that Yahoo!is ten years old. It was back in January of 1994 that Stanford University PhD students David Filo and Jerry Yang started.

keeping track of their favorite sites on the Web, collecting and classifying hundreds and then thousands of different Web pages. As their little hobby grew more time-consuming, Filo and Yang created a custom database to house their Web links, and they made the database available for free on the Web. They named the database Yahoo! (an acronym for Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle) and, after about a year, moved their site from the overloaded Stanford
servers to the larger-capacity servers of Netscape Communications Corporation.

In the spring of 1995, Yang and Filo began to realize the commercial appeal of their increasingly popular site; they accepted some venture capital and turned Yahoo! into a full-time business. Of course, the Yahoo!of today is a far cry from the database that resided on Filo and Yang’s personal workstations at Stanford. Yahoo! has expanded well beyond a simple Web directory (even though most Yahoo! visitors still use the site primarily for searching). Today, Yahoo! is a full fledged Web portal, a site that not only guides you to content across the Internet, but also contains its own proprietary content and services—everything from stock quotes to online auctions to interactive chat to free e-mail.

Just about everything you want to do with Yahoo! can be accessed from the Yahoo! home page ( You can use the home page to click through to other Yahoo! sites and services, as well as search or browse through the Yahoo! directory.

At the top of the page, on either side of the Yahoo! logo, are icons that link to Yahoo!’s most popular services: My Yahoo!, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Shop, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, and Yahoo! HotJobs. Click these icons to go directly to those services.

Just below the Yahoo! logo is a set of tabs. These tabs change the type of search enabled from the search box—Web (default), Images, Yellow Pages, and Products. The tabs sit on top of the search box, along with the Search button and links to the advanced search and preferences pages.

Below the search box, on the left side of the page (the main column), are links to almost every other Yahoo! service. Below this section is normally an ad for one of the many Yahoo! services, then links to Yahoo!’s business and premium services. The entire right-hand side of the page is devoted to news headlines and advertising links.

The next section in the main column contains the main categories of the Yahoo! Web Site Directory; click any link to start browsing. Then, at the bottom of the page, you find links to local and international versions of Yahoo!, as well as links to additional Yahoo! services.

There are two ways to use the Yahoo! site to find information on the Web. The first is to browse through the categories in the Yahoo! directory; you do this directly from the category links on the Yahoo! home page. The second method is to search the Web for information (what Yahoo! calls Web Search), which you do from the search box at the top of the Yahoo! home page. The results you get from each search are quite different, as you’ll learn later in this chapter.

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