Marissa Mayer has been a larger player at Google through her 13 years there. She was the 20th employee and has held different positions on her way to the top, from designer and engineer to product manager and VP of various projects. She has a focus on end-user design for various products and platforms, and that is being touted as her best strength and leading benefit for Yahoo in bringing her in to lead the company. There is growing sentiment that Mayer might just be the right person to not only navigate a struggling Yahoo but bring the right vision and guidance that could position Yahoo well within the changing landscape of the web, social, and mobile sectors.

Yahoo has had their fair share of struggles in recent years, trying everything they can to right the ship. They have continuously fallen from their once dominant position in search now trailing behind Google and Bing, holding the third place spot and continuously losing market share. They are looking to settle their troubles and reverse their downturn, with intentions to not just level out but become a major player once again.

Enter Marissa Mayer. Given her accomplished background in designing user products that have been visionary in their functionality and widely successful as measured by their high adoption by end-users, she has the right experience for Yahoo’s current position. Several examples of these products are Google Local, Google Images, and Google Maps, some of their most important functions. And this is where it gets interesting.

The Window of Opportunity
Experts and analysts are looking to the future and declaring that Google will likely move away from the traditional web to compete on the mobile, social, and applications fronts. Yahoo’s current areas of strengths exist in the traditional web space with MyYahoo, YahooSports, and YahooFinance as primary properties that receive a big draw and are very active.

So as Google shifts its focus away from the traditional web, there is an opportunity for Yahoo to assert themselves in this space and claim dominance growing web functions and properties. Now, with the person who spearheaded such efforts at Google leading the charge at Yahoo, they could be poised to make a run at defining the traditional web for the next decade.

So where does this leave SEO and the companies that work to optimize on the search engines? It does not change too much of what we do, unless Yahoo makes significant changes to their search offering. This is not entirely out of the question though as Bing already delivers Yahoo’s search results, borrowing their algorithm, so the results are largely similar, but the experience is different.

Yahoo could further develop the experience they deliver on their search platform in an effort to gain greater market share. Reputable SEO agencies will always have work to do but what is looks like will surely evolve and continue to change, and it will be interesting to see how much change if any comes at the hands of new developments from Yahoo.

Reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen(at)webimax.com and @ryanwbudd for more information on how companies can prepare for the future of SEO.