The Yahoo Directory, the core part of how Yahoo itself began in 1994, officially closed today, five days ahead of when Yahoo had said the end would come.
If you try to reach the Yahoo Directory at its long-standing address of http://dir.yahoo.com. you’ll now be redirected to a new location of https://business.yahoo.com/ with a home page carrying a “Yahoo Small Business” logo:
The new page still has the general look and feel of the old Yahoo Directory, listing categories that are not necessarily small business related, such as Linguistics.
However, if you try to review the listings in any category, you’ll receive an error page like this:
My guess is that Yahoo is still doing work on the removal of the old site and turning it into whatever it has planned, which seems likely to be some type Yellow Pages-style service.
While the new site carries the Yahoo Small Business logo, Yahoo Small Business is actually located on its own separate site. Likely, this new directory will get linked into the promotion services that Yahoo Small Business offers.
In September, Yahoo announced that the closure would happen, saying:
Advertisers will be upgraded to a new service; more details to be communicated directly.
Yahoo also said the closure would happen on December 31. Instead, it’s closed five days early. There’s been no blog post about the change, and given the errors, it’s likely that work will continue and culminate in an official post on the last day of this month.
Or not. Yahoo hardly gave the Yahoo Directory the send-off it deserved, when the news of the closure was first announced, buried as the third item in a post called “Progress Report: Continued Product Focus.”
Here’s how the Yahoo Directory — which really was all that there was of Yahoo — looked back in 1995:
For more background on the importance of the Yahoo Directory — and how it helped make Yahoo the Google of the 1990s — see our earlier post, The Yahoo Directory — Once The Internet’s Most Important Search Engine — Is To Close.