I generally haven't watched Yahoo closely, but since the update in late July, where many inside pages dropped like rocks, I've been following some selected niche searches. My thought at the time was that there was some sort of "filtering" in place (and I'm probably using the word inaccurately), much like there was after Google's infamous Florida update.
What seemed to affect some searches and some sites didn't seem to affect others... there was talk of over-optimization penalties... and results just didn't feel right. After Florida, I felt that Google would have to fix it, and eventually they did. I've felt that about Yahoo since the July update, but it hasn't happened yet.
The Yahoo serps are Florida-like in one respect that I haven't seen discussed... nonsense exclusion strings in the search query seem to return to search to an approximation of pre-July normalcy. Add -asdf to a search a bunch of times and you'll see what I mean.
Google also slightly increased their number (from 8,058,044,651 to 8,168,684,336), which may be an attempt to further refute / undermine Yahoo!'s claim. Gary says Google gave them the new number before Yahoo! did, which makes me wonder if Google has a few people who know the pulse on Yahoo!
Google always used index size as free marketing it's whole way up, and now that someone is ahead they simply said the figure is useless and everyone agrees. Amazing PR.
Yahoo is planning to launch on Wednesday an ad network for small Web publishers intended to strengthen its hand against rival Google, a source familiar with the plan told CNET News.com.
Yahoo's new service will differ from Google in that it will add human editorial judgment to the selection of ads for content pages. In comparison, Google's service relies on technology.
There are many fronts they can beat Google on:
open revenue sharing policies
unlike AdSense, they could actually enforce some legitimate quality standards - which may be likely if they put a bit more human interaction into the system
more flexible, offering XML feeds or customizable ads instead of making people use arbitrary ad blocks
Allow advertisers to run various ad copy lengths.
Allow advertisers to pick what sites they want their ads to appear on or block.
Better reporting of where ads are being displayed.
It looks like some people are already testing the new network. Earlier Oilman mentioned the Yahoo! context ads on Women's Finance, and looking around, they also appeared on Mom's Budget. I wonder what sort of revenue sharing Yahoo! is offering.
Yahoo! quickly needs to expand their inventory before they lose their partnership with MSN to avoid becoming a second tier pay per click engine.
I looked around and a few of the search related blogs, like Jeremy Zawodny, JenSense, and SE Roundtable were also displaying ads. Some of the publishing partner ads looked a bit botched. The ones on SE Roundtable were frequently off topic and cut off. I mean, how compelling is this ad:
Contraxx by Ecteon
Providing premium contract...
I know that as a user I probably would not click that, if I was the site owner I would be angry for wasting my screen space on that, and if I was paying for that advertisment I would be angry about that ad wasting my money. Why not just use shorter ad copy instead of cutting it off?
How can Yahoo! even think those chopped up ads are useful? Didn't they do some sort of testing on the system? How can an editor think that above six word ad is anything other than complete garbage?
Some chopped ads may send the wrong branding message and work to destroy brand value. Not good, IMHO.
Yahoo! is leveraging their knowledge of the web to try to increase activity at Hot Jobs.
Searching using the job engine at Hot Jobs now searches various job posting sites accross the web, which could increase Hot Jobs exposure, but could also cause their listing fees to get marginalized as people could opt to list jobs at some of the smaller databases that will now get more exposure. I believe Craigslist offers free job postings. If Hot Jobs searches those types of sites will their business model erode?
Monster.com has been doing fairly well in the market the past few days, due in part to analyst upgrades. Not too long ago they announced their founder was leaving to start a secret project which Monster.com is also backing.
When will Google creates vertical searches for things like jobs, and how open they will be? How many vertical markets will general search engines create and destroy as search advances? It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
From John, who also points out a couple other small players in the job market.
BONN, June 29 (Reuters) - Deutsche Telekom's (DTEGn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research) mobile arm T-Mobile will use Web search leader Google (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) as the starting point for surfing the Internet on its mobile phones to promote Internet usage, T-Mobile said on Wednesday.
Yahoo! DMCA Policy: bogus, removing sites without ANY sort of notification. They really ought to work on that. (from TW)
Bad Copywriting Advice:
You can also use copy from the site (no links), like the section where it says, "The only current SEO Book on the planet. Buy the industry standard #1 ranked SEO Book. What do the search engines think?" Etc.
The human feedback from people blocking or saving sites will be one of the biggest things that will effect search quality in the next
few years. PageRank has been around for a long time and has become heavily manipulated. Tim says that there has to be a better way.
Sees the problem with local search as getting small businesses to want to make information available. They made it free to get a local
website on Yahoo!.
Yahoo! Search itself is one of the most underutalized products Yahoo! owns because there are so many other features offered on the home page. Tim also mentioned the Yahoo! Search Developer Network, recommending people pull their linkage data and rank check queries from there.
Brett asked what are the biggest things you are fighting right now. Tim said he prefered to focus on the possitives. He mentioned that
Yahoo! has been winning RustySearch relevancy challenge. One problem many engines have is finding and indexing new content.
Looking for a manager for AltaVista and AlltheWeb. Feel free to apply. Each has a slightly different userbase and slightly different
indexes and relevancy algorithms to accomidate that.
Yahoo! has over 60% marketshare in Japan.
Good to get feedback from friends prior to sending a site to a search representitive.
Not sure whether or not or how they will use the feedback features to help sort relevancy. If the signal is good enough they want to
use it. Many of the feedback features are designed to help people find stuff they had found before, which may have got hidden in the
index dring a relevancy shuffle.