Posted May 2, 2012 4:05 pm by with 0 comments

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One gets the sense that with all the turmoil that has beset Yahoo in the past several years there may still be hope for the company.

Unfortunately, there have been cuts in both product offerings and thousands of employees of the company and thus there has been a lot of pain. The company that once stood as an Internet icon even removed an iconic billboard from the San Francisco landscape last year.

So why have hope? Well, today the company announced a marketing dashboard for small business that looks pretty interesting. From the Yahoo corporate blog we get

Today, Yahoo! Small Business launched the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard, a free tool that helps entrepreneurs discover new marketing opportunities to grow their businesses, while getting a comprehensive picture of their marketing results, online reputations, and website performance, all in one place.

Designed specifically with the small business owner in mind, the Yahoo! Marketing Dashboard provides a clear, consolidated picture of a business’s marketing results and reputation, making it easier to discover new insights and develop new ideas for growth. With key business metrics from across the Web accessible in one location, small business owners with limited resources can spend more time focusing on their core businesses and less time buried in multiple interfaces and spreadsheets.

Since Site Explorer was put to rest in November of last year many wondered if this side of Yahoo, the one that can provide actionable data, had gone away completely. Although not an SEO centric tool the new dashboard gives some insight as to where Yahoo thinks they can find business in their brave, new world.

As listed in the post some of the key features include

Search engine and directory listings: Enables monitoring and provides recommendations on new listing opportunities, covering over 100 sites (including Yelp, Yahoo! Local, and more)

Online reputation management: Pulls information from up to 8,000 sources (including Facebook and Twitter)

Site traffic analysis: Enables users to understand key website performance metrics (including Google Analytics)

Small business-focused news and advice: Provided from Yahoo! Small Business Advisor

Campaign tracking: Provides email marketing, SEO, and SEM campaign tracking (must subscribe to these services)
Support: 24/7 in-house free customer support

It may be a stretch but it looks like Yahoo feels they can get a foothold in the large yet hard to corner SMB market. This elusive beast has been the target of every company in the world it seems. The trouble is that most SMB’s don’t have a lot of cash to throw around at services despite the fact that in the US they comprise a large portion of the total businesses.

At least Yahoo’s offering is free but there are paid upgrade options like that included in the reputation monitoring option. Now, the question remains, how many businesses will take advantage of it and draw closer to Yahoo in the process? There are a lot of other dashboard type products and services vying for the SMB’s attention in the marketplace. Can this offering be enough to put Yahoo back on the map? Will SMB’s pay for additional services?

What’s your take on Yahoo’s position in the marketplace these days? Do you think that the SMB’s of the world will be interested in this offering? Will they even know about it? Let’s get your thoughts in the comments.