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Yahoo Fails to Use Search History Data
Ed Kohler

Yahoo put out a rosy headline about their new data retention policy that limits the time they store data such as search logs, page views, and ad views, titled, "Yahoo! Sets New Industry Privacy Standard with Data Retention Policy."

Great spin, but I don't think that's really why they did what they did. My guess is that they did this because they couldn't figure out a way to create value based on user's extensive search histories. Or their returns diminished to the point of not being valuable.

I can't figure out how it wouldn't be valuable to keep a rolling 1-year of data. Wouldn't it be valuable to be able to look at someone's behavior during the same time a year before, such as the holiday shopping season, to determine what a person may be looking for?


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1. Posted by: Pete Bishop on December 17, 2008 3:21 PM:

Since they have done a poor job of creating value from this information trail, I suppose it is possible that they are attempting to create an industry standard ceiling on the length of time that compliant, non-evil companies can store data as a shot across the bow of another company with which a deal had just fell through...

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