Yahoo will ring in the new year by killing its website directory

Yahoo will ring in the new year by killing its website directory

Other services like Yahoo Education and Qwiki will also close

Yahoo's soon-to-die website Directory, pictured Sept. 26, 2014.

Yahoo's soon-to-die website Directory, pictured Sept. 26, 2014.

Yahoo, which got its start as a digital phone book of websites, is closing that book.

Yahoo will shut down its Directory service on Dec. 31, the company said Friday in a blog post. As for why, the firm did not say much beyond this: "While we are still committed to connecting users with the information they're passionate about, our business has evolved and at the end of 2014, we will retire the Yahoo Directory."

Yahoo's directory had organized the Internet's websites by topic and location that could be explored by subject area, a different approach from searching the Web via queries done in Google, Bing or Yahoo's main search bar on its home page. As it stands now Directory sites are organized by topics like health, sports and entertainment, though a search bar has been incorporated into the page.

Directory advertisers will be upgraded to a new service, Yahoo said, the details of which will come later.

Shutting down the service is more of a symbolic move, given the wide number of other search sites that have come along and eclipsed it over the years. And Yahoo's own home page is now a major portal into a number of other Yahoo sites and services.

Yahoo is also not the company it used to be. Since Marissa Mayer took over as CEO in 2012, she's engineered a number of acquisitions and launched new products and apps, like digital video and online magazines, aimed at making Yahoo more relevant.

But still, some things must go. Yahoo also said Friday that it would be closing Yahoo Education, a site for connecting people with schools and degree programs, effective next Tuesday.

And Qwiki, a movie-making app that Yahoo acquired last year, will be shuttered Nov. 1, Yahoo said. The Qwiki team will continue to work on new digital media experiences at Yahoo, the firm said.

Yahoo, in an effort to streamline, has shut down more than 60 products and services over the past two years.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is

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