Toolbars, which are downloaded by users and become embedded in Web browsers, are an effective means of keeping users loyal to particular search services. And, of course, loyal users help companies sell search-related advertising. Google, Microsoft's
Certainly the addition of this new feature won't be enough to ensure Yahoo!'s top position among Internet companies. But this initiative typifies the innovation the company continues to display. Yahoo! seems to be moving on so many fronts, and all of its maneuvers seem smart. Among its recent initiatives are a team up with British Telecom to offer VoIP through Yahoo! instant messaging, a push into European online comparison shopping, and a pumping up of its email service to counter rival Google.
While the long-term threat from Google can't be ignored, it's hard to imagine Yahoo! losing its top-dog position anytime soon. The company does have its downsides, especially with respect to its continued rejection of options expensing. But if Yahoo! can stay nimble, it should be a leader for years to come.
Are you excited about this addition to Yahoo!'s toolbar? Will you switch from another toolbar to Yahoo!'s now? Give your thoughts on the Yahoo! discussion board.
Fool contributor Brian Gorman is a freelance writer living in Chicago, Ill. He does not own shares of any companies mentioned here.