It seems like only yesterday that I last switched jobs. Last time I moved from my job on the Search Team to the Platform Engineering group to do MySQL stuff. And before Search, I worked on Yahoo Finance for about three years.

Well, believe it or not, I'm going back to the Search Team[1] but in a very different role this time. Instead of hacking away on software bits, I'm going to be working to:

  • make sure our products kick the necessary amount of ass
  • better communicate what we're thinking about and building
  • incorporate outside feedback and ideas into what we're doing
  • recruit more smart people

And other stuff as it comes up, I'm sure.

I've been a Yahoo nearly five years now and this will be my fourth role. It has been in the works for a few months now. The first evidence of that was the launch of the Yahoo Search blog and then our attendance at and sponsorship of Gnomedex 4 recently.

This change is one that I thought about for quite a while. And, quite honestly, it's the first time I've accepted a new role without a very solid idea of what I was getting myself into. It'll be very interesting to see how this evovles. I know that I have a lot to learn and hopefully a lot to teach as well. In some ways, this new role is experimental. I'm expecting it to morph a bit over time and so are the folks I'll be working with.

One thing I do know is that the folks I'm going to be working with really care a lot about what they're doing. (And I'm not just saying that because I know they'll read this.) I wish I could say I saw that in every part of the company.

And on that note, I love the fact that I can move around within Yahoo. Many companies talk about how employees are free to look at internal opportunities, but not all of them make it easy to pursue those opportunities. They throw up lots of barriers, seemingly encouraging their employees to look elsewhere rather than stick around. My experience at Yahoo has shown that mobility is a fact of life. I know of many other coworkers who've tried out various roles over the last few years.

I hope that didn't sound too much like a recruiting pitch or anything. It's just what's been going thru my mind recently.


Here are answers to a few questions I've already been asked, as well as some I anticipate.

Q: Does this mean I can complain to you about Yahoo Search?

A: Sure. But you've been able to do that for years. ;-) I'll do what I can to make sure your complaint hits the right people.

Q: Does this mean you no longer deal with MySQL stuff?

A: Not at all. Until I help hire my replacement (more on that in a future post), I'm handling MySQL stuff. And even beyond that, I'm a long-time MySQL user and fan who's starting to get pressure for a second edition of The Book. And I still write a monthly MySQL column for Linux Magazine. In other words, I'm not giving up on MySQL.

Q: What about all the RSS stuff Yahoo is doing?

A: I'm still going to be one of our biggest RSS advocates around here. It's technically never been part of my job but that didn't stop me from getting involved.

Q: Does this mean your blog will be full of "check out this great Yahoo feature" posts? Will you still complain about things Yahoo doesn't do well?

A: No, my blog will not turn into a corporate marketing tool. And yes, I fully intend to be honest about what I think we're doing well and what we're not. I'm still a harsh critic--both of our services and others. Hopefully anyone who has read my ramblings long enough knows this already.

Q: Will you still bash Google?

A: Heh. From time to time, I may. But I know a lot more people who work there now, so I've tried to tone it down a bit. They're not that evil. ;-)

Q: Did your blog have anything to do with getting this new job?

A: Yes. A lot.

Q: Do you know what today's earnings numbers will be?

A: I wish. And if I don't go to sleep soon, you'll know before I do.

[1] Technically I'm working with the whole Search and Marketplace business unit, but that's org chart trivia to most people reading this.

Posted by jzawodn at October 12, 2004 01:38 AM

Reader Comments
# Kalyan said:

Congrats. You have managed something that many have been trying to push for many years in Yahoo!.

Waiting for all the kickass stuff that will come out now :)

on October 12, 2004 02:13 AM
# Sid Yadav said:

Congrats Jeremy! I'm sure we'll be seeing an improvement now that you've arrived. Just can't wait for those. ;-)

on October 12, 2004 02:39 AM
# Badi Kumar said:

This is my first comment on your blog! And what a way to start: Have fun with your new job!! :-)

on October 12, 2004 03:49 AM
# Sandeep said:

Excellent stuff. Congratulations!

on October 12, 2004 04:03 AM
# Gerald said:

Congratulations from Germany. I hope you will consider other countries/languages as well. Here in germany yahoo has a lousy spread of search, google is really dominant.
What do you think about integrating SEOs into quality assurance ;-)

on October 12, 2004 04:07 AM
# Nik said:

Will you tell a bit about what working for Yahoo is like, how you're working, if you're working much with development offices in Europe, how independent you and your team work, how much communication there is with other groups and such?



on October 12, 2004 05:00 AM
# Mark said:

Good for you Jeremy! Congratulations!

on October 12, 2004 06:33 AM
# G Close said:

Congratulations on the new gig! Sounds great. Love your blog--I read it regularly to keep up on tech issues.

I have a request related to Yahoo! Search. Some of my competitors, who also sell Norwegian sweaters, are using doorway pages to spam Yahoo! Search. I've submitted a complaint, but to no avail. Google cleaned these doorway pages up right away, but I've had less luck with Yahoo! Search, even though I know these aren't allowed. Any suggestions on who to contact?


on October 12, 2004 10:59 AM
# Jérôme said:

> Q: Did your blog have anything to do with
> getting this new job?
> A: Yes. A lot.

May I asked how your blog helped to get this new job ?
Just curious... and of course congratulations :-)

on October 12, 2004 11:32 AM
# Brian Turner said:

If it's not a silly question, would Yahoo! be looking to seek dialogue with people in the Search Engine Optimisation industry, either in public - such as in the Search Engine Watch forums or even in private testing groups, like MSN were recently doing with Search Champs (or Search Chimps, as Peter Da Vanzo put it :) ).

Hope you don't mind my asking, as I'm personally a little curious as to how much involved Yahoo! are with SEO's - or whether the approach on the research front is strictly partisan?

Anyway - sincere good luck with the job - I've got a half-brother who overseas the European servers for Yahoo! and he never seems to sleep. :)

on October 12, 2004 01:27 PM
# Dave said:

congrats! seems like a good fit for ya based on your old posts.

on October 12, 2004 03:29 PM
# Victor said:

I bet the during the conversation of Jeremy and his future boss the words "blog", "concern", "trust" and "judgement" were mentioned. WHat should we expect from Jeremy's blog in the future? I think less opinion and more words like "stratigic" and "competition". :-)

on October 12, 2004 07:11 PM
# said:

Congratulations, Jeremy. Onward and upward...

on October 12, 2004 07:16 PM
# alek said:


Here's an easy one for you to fix - right now, there's (basically) a bug in your search engine in that you are dropping the trailing / for results if there is a pathname in the URL - i.e.

For example, try this Yahoo Search:
and my web site happens to be the #4 result with a URL of:
but you are dropping the trailing / both in the display and when you pass through

Yea, I know this still "works" (since the target web server will do a redirect for you) ... but it's just a bit sloppy ... and the "Big G" doesn't make this mistake ... but you have good company as the folks up in Redmond do the same goof-up.

This is probably easy to fix - don't let the Microsoft guys beat you to it and show they are better programmers! ;-)

on October 12, 2004 07:56 PM
# Barry Schwartz said:

Brian Turner, Yahoo is very involved with the SEO community. Besides for all the time they spend at the SEO/SEM conferences, Yahoo has several representatives from the Search Division that participates in online forums such as the one you listed (search engine watch) and also WebmasterWorld.

on October 12, 2004 08:12 PM
# orion said:

Congrats, Jeremy, on your new post.

"I hope that didn't sound too much like a recruiting pitch or anything."

So, would they hire me? :)


on October 12, 2004 08:41 PM
# Brian Turner said:

Hi Barry -

Indeed, I am quite aware of such things. I guess what I was asking - but not very clear on - is whether there are wider changes afoot in Yahoo! search, and whether there is any kind of formal consultancy on the developing tech, as per the MSN Searchchamps group?

Anyway, I'm beginning to feel a little impolite now, so I'll let Jeremy get the last of his sleep. ;)

on October 13, 2004 12:58 AM
# justin said:

google for "nokia 5410"
then yahoo for "nokia 5410"

ever wonder why lots more people , like me, are using yahoo search more and more?

on October 13, 2004 03:12 AM
# anonymous said:

> Q: Did your blog have anything to do with
> getting this new job?
> A: Yes. A lot.

Quite a change from people who were fired for blogging, or still those who have to hope their employers don't discriminate because of their blogging, and try to keep it (somewhat) hush-hush...

on October 13, 2004 09:11 AM
# eileen kowalski said:

Congratulations! As an SEO and a blogger, I really look forward to seeing how your input will help direct Yahoo Search into the future. By the way, is there any news when Yahoo will be fixing the 301 redirect problem that Tim spoke about at SES? We really want to take this fruit of our frustration down as soon as possible. Thanks!

on October 13, 2004 09:49 AM
# Stuntdubl said:

Congrats on getting back to search. Yes, Yahoo is active in the SEO community, and it is good to see that communication.

on October 13, 2004 10:05 AM
# said:

Customer Service regarding penalized sites in Yahoo has been as pitiful as in comes. So what can we expect for Christmas?

on October 13, 2004 03:57 PM
# Manish Jethani said:

Congratulations, Jeremy! Wish you all the best in your new role.

on October 14, 2004 01:08 AM
# justin said:

Jeremy - one thing you could immediately sort out is the lack of focus on the search box when you hit - you have to use your mouse to click in the search box and THEN type.

Contrast with google - you can immediately type your search term.

Yeah - it's a minor point admittedly, but its a usability issue that gets very annoying after a while,especially when I'm finding that i'm using search a heck of a lot more recently.

on October 14, 2004 02:06 AM
# Jozef Imrich said:

Security is an illusion. Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.

Congratulations - may Yahoo be smart with you and the new crew ...


on October 14, 2004 03:55 AM
# WG said:

Congrats Jeremy!

But will have to put an order in similar to Eileen.

Please fix 301's!

on October 17, 2004 07:19 AM
# said:

Maybe they offered heaven and hell for you, but they obviously didn’t offer enough. And that says a lot about Microsoft. It says they really don’t care about the blogosphere. It says they really don’t care about the influentials. It says they really won’t be able to turn the bad PR around. To bad, cause they make some great products.

on November 21, 2006 05:25 AM
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