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.
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