Happy birthday, Yahoo! (or is it?)

In 1995, Yahoo! was incorporated.

I was very close to using our March 1 edition of This day in search history to wish Yahoo a happy 28th birthday. Especially after I saw our 2010 story, Happy Birthday, Yahoo: 15 Years Old Today.

But why was that the only headline from March 1 on IXLCenter.io about it being Yahoo’s birthday? Perhaps it was because our article discussed a Yahoo blog post (Happy 15th Birthday Yahoo! from Jerry and David!), which was posted on March 1 and contained the words “as we celebrate 15 years today.”

Digging deeper into our archives, things continued to be confusing:

  1. Yahoo Celebrates Its 13th Birthday; Will There Be A 14th? – published March 5, 2008 (references a photo shared by Yahoo via Flicker on March 4, which was completely unhelpful.)
  2. Yahoo Celebrates Its 14th Birthday – published March 2, 2009. (“Yahoo is celebrating its 14th birthday today…”)
  3. Yahoo Turns 16 Years Old – published March 2, 2011 (“On March 1st, Yahoo turned 16 years old.” And that’s because Yahoo marked its “Sweet 16” on March 1, 2011.)
  4. Yahoo Celebrates Its 20th Birthday By Setting New World Record For Yodeling, published March 3, 2015 (“Yahoo turned 20 yesterday…” i.e., March 2)

Well, on March 2, 2005, Yahoo celebrated its 10th birthday by giving away a free scoop of Baskin-Robbins ice cream. And on March 2, 2020, Yahoo wished itself a happy birthday on social media and shared 25 years of milestones.

I even went to Yahoo search for the first time in a very long time to find out what Yahoo search (powered by Microsoft Bing) would tell me. No surprise, Wikipedia provided further consensus about March 2:

So Yahoo’s “official” birthday seems to be March 2, not March 1. Although it could easily be argued that neither is actually the “real” birthday of Yahoo.

After all, the company was founded in 1994. Jerry and David’s Guide to the World Wide Web was renamed as Yahoo in April 1994. And the Yahoo.com domain was registered on Jan. 18, 1995.

Also, let’s not add to the confusion by even mentioning the birthday of Yahoo Search (Feb. 18, 2004).

Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter whether Yahoo’s “real birthday” is. We already went through this with Google (see: Google Is 10 Years Old? Finding The Real Google Birthday), which decided to officially celebrate its birthday every Sept. 27.

So we wish Yahoo a happy birthday today. On March 2. As it should be.

And it seems like Yahoo’s search team will be wishing for a search comeback this year.

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From Search Marketing Expo (SMX)

Past contributions from IXLCenter.io’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)

These columns are a snapshot in time and have not been updated since publishing, unless noted. Opinions expressed in these articles are those of the author and not necessarily IXLCenter.io.

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