Yahoo! Open Search

One of the biggest things holding back Yahoo! Search is their preference for Yahoo! content. As a shift in strategy, Yahoo! announced they are opening up their search results to third party data integration. Instead of a typical search result, some of the results with third party data may look like this

Google has largely been pulling in third party data and doing their best to keep that traffic on the Google network. To appreciate how aggressive this has been, you only need to look at the increased size of Google local listings or the sharp decline in stock prices of traditional Yellow Pages companies, as highlighted in this WSJ article.

A couple questions that remain are how interactive will the paid inclusion results get, and will the paid search ads get more interactive as well?

Google has a similar program to what Yahoo! offers, with a couple major differences

  • Yahoo! will turn on third party data for some leading sites by default
  • Google requires you to learn their proprietary confusing language AND promote Google, Google Search, Google Subscribed Links, AND get your users to subscribe for you to get any additional exposure (and yet they wonder why it hasn't taken off yet)

Through different strategies both of the top 2 engines are turning their search results into destinations. Worth watching as it progresses. More information available at Search Engine Land.

Published: February 26, 2008 by Aaron Wall in yahoo


Eric Shannon
February 26, 2008 - 9:36pm

i'm hoping these developments will start a race between google and yahoo to offer webmasters more and more control. already, i'm pretty impressed with google webmaster tools and hope google will fire back by adding additional features.

February 27, 2008 - 5:41am

This is a great article Aaron, I actually have a pest control client who is a regional manager for yellowbook (he sold me my account back in the day, and I sold him, go figure)
anyhow, hes a cool guy and hes been saying that theyre seeing at least a 14% loss in business YEARLY. Thats not a good trend, so theyve been working out ways to incorportate the internet and local companies into cable, say an add for dominos pops on there will be a link on the right with all your saved info allowing you to more or less point and click order. Well see if that materializes.

Now continuing on the local bit, companies like E-local profiles have been exploiting the google and yahoo local listings for I would assume the last several months, if not last couple years. The reason I say last couple months, theyve been calling everyone I know that owns anything (at least 2 times a day) to get people to pay a couple hundred a month for local listings optimization.. what a racket..

Actually, with my seo startup Ive actually focused primarily on local results and so on - I see search engines becoming more myspacey than search anything and everything, more a local social network if you will.

Sorry for the novel

Search Engine O...
February 27, 2008 - 4:38pm

We believe this is pretty impressive and although it will definitely change the dynamics of SEO, it may be better overall for everyone.

Yellowbook will continue to decline. A friend recently said that he tried to cancel his Yellowbook advertising account since it was bringing him NO traffic and guess what? They told him that when he signed up he "agreed" to a year contract. Hmmm.... using subtle tactics like that may be what is keeping them afloat.

March 3, 2008 - 7:50am

I think this is an impressive step forward.

However both Yahoo and Google need to go a long way to deliver a truly democratic search engine where users can contribute and those contributions can impact the overall search result, ensuring a great experience.

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