Marissa Mayer takes content and makes it better. Yahoo’s new CEO does not evolve that content by finding better editors or hiring stronger writers, instead her job has always been to create the platforms on which the content can be discovered, enjoyed, shared and expanded upon. During her time at Google Mayer worked as a product manager, engineer and executive on various projects. Among her most notable were Google Search, Google News, Google Books, Google Maps and Gmail.
So what exactly does Mayer’s experience at Google mean for Yahoo’s future? First, the company will continue to maintain a stronghold on the content industry where it controls more than 750 million pageviews per month. We can expect to see the company continue its focus on Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, OMG and various other content driven areas of production. What Mayer will do for that content is simply add more “platform depth” to the equation. Yahoo needs more tablet and mobile focus, it’s products have lingered as mainstays of desktops but mobile offerings have been slim and rather weak. By bringing her know-how in the platform industry to the table we can expect to see well though out mobile products that deliver the type of content we have come to expect from Mayer.
Along the same lines its likely Yahoo will rebuild a newsstand product of its own or acquire a major player in the content delivery business such as Flipboard (the most likely candidate). Mayer understands the importance of content delivery thanks to her time working on Google News and the ability to purchase and reinvent an established brand could mean huge returns on investment for Yahoo.
After current products are in order and delivered to the best of their ability we can expect some big brand buys from Yahoo. The company has been rather soft in terms of local search and reviews as well as the travel industry. Mayer will likely target websites that have already built respected platforms such as Kayak for travel and Yelp for reviews. If Yahoo begins to acquire company’s as some analysts have claimed nearly all of those company’s are likely to focus heavily on platform based systems that offer room for expansion and improvement. In a sub-category of these buyouts we are likely to see a lot of emphasis on “local search” from within each system. Before leaving Google Marissa Mayer was specifically moved over to the local search division to revitalize Google’s local results.
Marissa Mayer is a software engineer first and a CEO second, while many Yahoo investors are fearful of quick and determined growth it is likely that Mayer will work to quickly develop, launch and improve upon Yahoo products.
Marissa recently said she loved Yahoo’s “brand image” and wanted to improve on the brand and with some major platform tweaks, a few acquisitions and just the right amount of software engineering know-how she’s definitely the right person for the job.