search directory

A Web site that provides links to information organized into a categorical, alphabetical hierarchy.

Unlike a search engine, which uses bots to sort its information and relies soley on Internet technology to operate, a search directory is human-organized, meaning that real people actually edit the links and classify them into the directory. The result of this distinction is easily apparent when doing an online search: instead of a search engine spit-out of hundreds of thousands of results (many of which are irrelevant), a directory comes back with links that are more accurate and better organized. If you don't know the actual URL of a Web site you want to see, try searching Yahoo! first; if you still can't find any interesting, related information, then go to a search engine (and take time to learn how to use the "advanced search" feature).

Historical perspective: Yahoo! is a well-known search directory, created by David Filo and Jerry Yang of the Department of Computer Science at Stanford University, it's been said that "Yahoo" stands for "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle," but the founders insist they selected the name because they liked the general definition of a yahoo: rude, unsophisticated, uncouth. The word was invented by Jonathan Swift and used in his book Gulliver's Travels.

An early favorite in the industry and with online users, Yahoo! was once considered the poster child of the first generation of the Internet. It became known to the general public with its large IPO in 1995 (at one point, the company was valued at $150 billion dollars, twice that of Disney). Fast forward to 2017, Verizon was going to acquire Yahoo's Internet business for $4.48 billion dollars but Yahoo disclosed a series of data breaches affecting hundred of millions of users. The companies agreed to discount the purchase price by $350 million and laid off more than 2,000 employees. Yahoo is now combined with Verizon-owned AOL to create a new business called Oath.

NetLingo Classification: Net Technology