Yahoo Still Searching for Winning Strategy

Yahoo’s revenue drops but its Alibaba stock gives it cash to fund ‘next big thing.’

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer says she's pleased the website's monthly user traffic is up 20 percent over the past 15 months.

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Yahoo will also likely expand into the native advertising world, where Mayer’s experience with algorithms at Google could help the company design advertising content that resembles a user’s Web and mobile activity, Weiner says.

While it appears Mayer’s acquisitions do not piece together to form a solid strategy, Mayer could have an ace up her sleeve that has not been publicized yet, Weiner says.

“What Marissa Mayer has brought from Google is that the ability to do many, many things without a big public relations buzz. She could be buying small startups under the radar to see which one is a good fit,” Weiner says. “This is something she may have brought with her from a Google legacy. Google launched a number of products, and they were not afraid to launch something and then nuke it if it didn’t work.”

While Wiener had sharp criticism about Yahoo’s apparent lack of focus, he says the appointment of Mayer as CEO has helped rejuvenate the company. During her tenure Yahoo’s stock has reached the highest it has been in six years.

“Yahoo has done a great job at getting people to believe there is a reinvention in progress,” Weiner says.

The real question is which direction that reinvention is headed, Weiner says. “I don’t think Yahoo knows what it wants to be when it grows up,” he added.