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Yahoo will ring in the new year by killing its Website Directory

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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 homepage.

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 homepage is now a major portal into a number of other Yahoo sites and services.

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