There are three ways to look at this announcement:
“Yahoo started its week with layoffs in Sunnyvale,” an employee tells us. “Seems to be affecting the editorial team that does search relevance testing.”
- Yahoo is preparing for Bing. You don’t need search relevance teams when you’re handing over your search results to Microsoft.
- Yahoo is admitting that their search results have never been that relevant and so why even have an editorial team.
- Yahoo’s just as tired of crappy results as we are, and is hiring better people.
Personally, I like Option 2, but according to an official statement from Yahoo, Option 3 might be closer to the truth:
“Yahoo! remains focused on innovating the overall Search experience over the long-term, and the Yahoo! Search group is hard at work on some new experiences that we believe will convert Yahoo! users to Yahoo! searchers.”
“To accomplish our new product objectives, we have decided that we need a different combination of talent and are making changes within the search group in order to more deeply invest in other areas of the group.”
Of course, it could be a combination of all three.