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A Chopping List For Yahoo

This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.
Here's a fun game to play with colleagues: It's called "What Should Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Cut Next?" The internet company has been nipping and tucking the past few months, getting rid of its FareChase travel engine and Yahoo Briefcase. Just this week came the news that Yahoo might be shopping around HotJobs and that it's also shutting down its Jumpcut.com video site effective June 15 as part of its "ongoing prioritization efforts."

CEO Carol Bartz has said her company isn't one "that needs to be pulled apart and left for the chickens," but that doesn't mean she's happy with its hodge-podge of services. There are 18 different products in the company's audience group alone, from Yahoo Finance to Yahoo Food, on top of offerings like Yahoo Mail or Yahoo Answers. In a memo to employees earlier this year, Bartz said she was "assembling a list of products that we are embarrassed about for various reasons so we can make the important decision as to whether we fix them or discontinue them."

To help Bartz out, we took a look at some comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) numbers and reviewed that very long list of "More Yahoo services" on the Yahoo home page to seek out low performers and misfits.

Our picks for the chopping block, after the jump:

The Property: Yahoo Kids

The Problem: The former Yahooligans, now called Yahoo Kids, might be Yahoo's smallest property, with 1.4 million unique visitors in February, according to comScore. Traffic is stagnantand it happens to be 14th in the kids category.

The Property: Yahoo Foods

The Problem: Traffic dropped 47 percent to this site in February, according to comScore.  It's no match for its bigger competitors.

The Property: Zimbra

The Problem: Yahoo purchased this messaging and collaboration application for educational institutions, businesses, and government agencies in 2007 for $350 million. It doesn't fit with Yahoo's consumer-centric focus, even if the company has relied on Zimbra's technology to bolster efforts to "open" its properties to third-party developers and advertisers. A sign of things to come? Zimbra Founder Satish Dharmaraj left Yahoo in January.

The Property: Yahoo Small Business

The Problem: Yahoo Small Business is a suite of Yahoo fee-based online services, like web hosting and business e-mail. Like Zimbra, it's not aimed at consumers and it also does not generate ad revenue.

The Property: Yahoo Health

The Problem: Traffic is up but it has to be difficult to compete with WebMD (NSDQ: WBMD) and Everyday Health, which dominate the space.

The Property: Yahoo Travel

The Problem: Bartz has already shown her inclination to cut back on Yahoo's travel services. She dumped Yahoo's FareChase travel engine last month. And it's in 12th place in its category.

What else do you think Bartz should ditch? Please weigh in.


By Joseph Tartakoff