Never understand why advertising wasn't their focus
It's not rocket science.
Google today makes 90% of its profit from advertising. That's so much it can even afford experimental loss making toy projects, recently spun off as Alphabet, without breaking sweat. Why was, and is, it the only player in town? Yeah, some other big names like Microsoft and Yahoo (and err... ?) have some token competing ad platform, but that's all. These ad brokers pay website owners to show their ads, the website owners can chop and choose instantly with the click of a mouse, or even run automated software which swaps between them itself for different visitors. Real competition would be healthy and serve the industry better. And still very profitable, even when shared amongst them.
Anyone every tried to create an ad publishing account with Yahoo? In the UK you can't. Full stop. For the last 10 years + you get the message "this service is not available in your region". #facepalm - this isn't even getting the basics right. For years now we've seen the reports of how Yahoo pissed away so many billions doing this, wasted it doing that, when all the while Google sits there owning the ad market quietly laughing at its antics. Their ad serving platform is only software. Microsoft too - what happened to "follow the money"? Was there something sinister going on in the early days stopping anyone but Google growing in this space? Today it must be impossible for anyone, even the top corporates, to get in due to their sheer market dominance, but it seemed the strategy of the others was to just pay lip service to it.
I'm annoyed Yahoo is about to vanish - their throw away email accounts have severed me very well for years.