Yahoo's Directory Is Closing, But Where's The Send-Off?

Yahoo plans to retire its directory at the end of 2014. The Yahoo Directory was once the most popular way to find content on the Internet.

Yahoo's Directory Is Closing, But Where's The Send-Off?

Please join me in a moment of silence as we celebrate the life and times of Yahoo's directory, which was once the most popular way to find content on the Internet. 

The directory was pretty much just a bunch of categorized links to different destinations on the web. Clicking into a top-level category allowed you to drill down into specifics until you found what you were looking for. Yahoo's directory is a lot different from the search engines of today. Nowadays special programs catalogue the world wide web; Yahoo's directory was curated by humans.

In a post on its company Tumblr page Friday, Yahoo announced plans to retire the Yahoo Directory at the end of the year. The company reminds those who may not remember (or weren't around yet), "Yahoo was started nearly 20 years ago as a directory of websites that helped users explore the Internet."

The post detailed the shuttering of a few other Yahoo products or services, and that alone has the tech press a little peeved. You see, the Yahoo Directory was the place to find new content on the web before Google took the throne, and the tech world thinks it deserves a little more respect.

Search Engine Land writes, "there had to be something less shameful than the way Yahoo announced the coming closure of the directory from which Yahoo literally takes its name." 

The site points out, Yahoo — at least in the early 90s — stood for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle." In other words: an official place to go for a list of organized sites. 

And Mashable agrees, writing "the way it was [announced] ... seems unbecoming of a product that helped shape what is now a multi-billion dollar corporation."

Basically people are upset the Yahoo of today isn't giving the Yahoo of yesteryear the respect it deserves. Especially because the Yahoo of today arguably wouldn't exist without the early popularity of its directory. 

But Gizmodo provides the sobering reminder of why it makes sense to shutter an obsolete service. "The idea of thumbing through hundreds of thousands of names to find something (or, even, going to the second page of Google) seems laughably insane."

You can check out the Yahoo Directory before it disappears at Though at time of writing the site was down — reportedly due to all the news surrounding its closing. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.