Yahoo! goes East

Yahoo! intent on making in-roads in the East and Middle East

Tags: ChinaIndiaUnited Arab EmiratesYahoo! Incorporated
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By  Gareth Van Zyl Published  October 6, 2009

When was the last time you visited the Yahoo! website? If you have taken a look at it recently, you would have noticed its new home page, which gives users the ability to add and remove certain widgets in the left navigation bar.

It's quite obvious how Yahoo! is going for a personalised web approach, and nothing reiterates this more after the search portal took out a full page ad on the front page of one of the world's biggest English newspapers, The Times of India.

News about this advertisement was reported on by Michael Arrington of the popular TechCrunch blog, and in his post on this matter you can take a look at the ad. It's a full page, big yellow advertisement that has the wording; "Making the web mine".

I'm not even going to begin to speculate as to how much a front page ad like that costs, especially in one of the world's strongest emerging markets, but it illustrates how serious Yahoo! is in delving into the big emerging markets to try and attain greater global market share.

It's no secret that Yahoo! has taken a serious dent in the US and European markets over the years, as its competitor Google has (to put it lightly) totally out-competed it.

But I think Yahoo! should be respected for delving into markets that are in all probability going to be the biggest markets for just about everything in the world in years to come.

And it's not just the likes of India that Yahoo! is targeting. Obviously, here in the Middle East, Yahoo! recently announced its acquisition of Maktoob to form Yahoo! Maktoob.

Apart from Maktoob, Yahoo! also seems to be trying to tackle the mobile space with news on ArabCrunch (a Middle East blog on technology) reporting that  Yahoo! Maktoob have developed an app for the iPhone that acts as a translator from English into Arabic.

All this shows that the former search giant is still alive and kicking, and constantly thinking about new ways of extending its market. It was this fresh approach that was needed especially after one considers the debacle around how Yahoo! rejected that Microsoft deal last year.

Just when Yahoo! was looking like falling behind in the rankings, they might have a trump card in the form of emerging markets. Don't be surprised if Yahoo! shifts its centre from West to East in a bid to stay afloat.

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