Yahoo Fails to Use Search History Data

Yahoo put out a rosy headline about their new data retention policy that limits the time they store data such as search logs, page views, and ad views, titled, “Yahoo! Sets New Industry Privacy Standard with Data Retention Policy.”

Great spin, but I don’t think that’s really why they did what they did. My guess is that they did this because they couldn’t figure out a way to create value based on user’s extensive search histories. Or their returns diminished to the point of not being valuable.

I can’t figure out how it wouldn’t be valuable to keep a rolling 1-year of data. Wouldn’t it be valuable to be able to look at someone’s behavior during the same time a year before, such as the holiday shopping season, to determine what a person may be looking for?

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