Unfortunately, I would have to agree... for a short time yesterday the results looked much better but they quickly switched back to the current poor serps.
Yahoo is only in the search engine business because they have to be for the Overture revenue. (There's nothing wrong that. Why be in business if it's not profitable?) Overture is doing great, so why would they want to improve the serps? That's how most big companies evaluate individual departments/divisions, especially the ones run by bean counters. However, the only reason I (and I'm sure others) continue to buy Overture is to get MSN. When MSN splits the PPC sheets with Yahoo, I'll bet a lot of us drop Overture. Only then will they have to produce a quality product. You'd think they could see this coming. If they do, they might do something about it sooner.
|Yahoo is only in the search engine business because they have to be for the Overture revenue. |
Yeah, yeah. It's easy to sit in the dark making this stuff up as you go along. People invent the same gossip about Google. But when you throw on the lights you see that the boogie man under your bed is just a pair of slippers.
Once you've been to the campus and have met the people behind the search engine, you can't truthfully subscribe to conspiracy theories about cynical motivations.
I've been to the Yahoo campus, invited along with other people, for the sole purpose of giving input to their search managers about what we were seeing. I can tell you from having met these people that they are sincere and passionate, very passionate, about rolling out the best search engine they can.
How do you thinkthey're doing?
|How do you thinkthey're doing? |
They could be doing a lot better. Part of what is wrong seems to be the result of giving some sites too much credibility. In this regard Yahoo needs to fine tune it better.
On certain searches they're doing better than Google. But on the whole I prefer Google results as they're more consistent. But I don't use Yahoo enough, so it might be habit.
[edited by: martinibuster at 6:10 am (utc) on Nov. 11, 2005]
Well Martin, what do you think?, more to the point what do you tell them when asked?
IMO its been a poor offering for a good few updates with no sign of improvement, i would love to see Yahoo have a real go at providing some quality for once. I guess i can keep dreaming!
What i dont understand is why they cant see it for themselves?, if they are as serious as you say why are they not looking at the results from the end users perspective and thinking we need a radical overhaul of the current algo here - the results look poor it doesnt work and needs improvement.
>>> I can tell you from having met these people that they are sincere and passionate, very passionate, about rolling out the best search engine they can.
They were very dedicated and determined to try and make the best search product possible. They took some criticism that day and never once seemed aggravated about it - they seemed like they were listening and glad to be getting solid input.
>>> thinking we need a radical overhaul of the current algo here - the results look poor it doesnt work and needs improvement
Your posts remind me of something my dad said to me while watching the olympics several years ago and after I complained loudly about a gymnast missing a landing... he said: "It is real easy to sit on the couch and complain they are doing a bad job at something you couldn't do yourself."
Yahoo needs work, as do both other engines. I'll be the first to say there are problems. But, I don't think it is fair to make assumptions about the motives of people, who according to what I've seen, are working hard as hell to make their engine a solid product.
Good point. its easy to sit back and knock the results
However, they are not short of funding are they?, they can employ some of the best staff to work on the algo in the world and lets face it unlike msn they are not new kids on the block are they?
I just think by this stage they should have a much better offering and i guess i do wonder if its more about producing poor results in the hope that overture adwords hits increase rather than good results to take a greater share of the search engine trade - oh cynical me!
Meanwhile from where i sit, i use google as my primary search engine then MSN next in line. I dont use Yahoo because of the quality issue - i wonder how many others using search engines feel the same?
Let me try and restate the point I was trying to make in msg #3. IMO, Yahoo results are poor. For 3 years they have I have tried to work with them. I find them arrogant and non-reponsive. I'm tired of waiting on their improvment and would drop Overture if it didn't include MSN. I only spent about $50,000 with them the last 12 months, so I'm certainly not a big account there. Poor results and poor service is their choice. To not do business with them is my choice. Here's my point: I think there are others who will drop Overture when MSN debuts. (In six months or a year, a new trend will probably develop...it's how competition works.) BTW, I'm sure the yahoo engineers are fine people and dedicated workers. In the world of big business, that counts for nothing.
I know of a number of people who are having trouble with Y! ppc services mis-charges (~10K one month), poor matching, charges for clicks that did not exist, etc. and will be canceling at the end of their slow season... too bad, because they used to be much better.
As far as their organic results, I have to agree with the 'too much credit' to some sites/links. In my niche, there are 4 major sites which provide information for a type of service (each has a directory for individual states). None of these sites can be found in the top 20 results for any state I have checked.
This niche has a large number of sites that can *only* link to sites that are absolutely accurate (liability reasons), and links are usually only allowed to .gov and major .org sites. At least two of the four sites have over 50 of these links from around the US, most of them deep, one-way to specific pages... for none of these sites to be found in results for a related search seems odd.
To me, it almost looks like there is too much emphasis on the text of the link, and overall number of links/link text, with not enough emphasis on where the link is coming from. It would seem if a site is considered an authority, the link from that site should make the contents of the page being linked to important, regardless of the text in the link.
Just some thoughts...
|I've been to the Yahoo campus, invited along with other people, for the sole purpose of giving input to their search managers about what we were seeing. I can tell you from having met these people that they are sincere and passionate, very passionate, about rolling out the best search engine they can. |
How long ago has this been? To me in the last year Yahoo seems to be more interested in the entertainment business than search. Maybe the search portion of Yahoo has been downgraded in importance and the team is not getting a lot of support needed to make significant improvements. If you look down the road Yahoo may not see where they can compete with MSN and Google in terms of organic search and has opted to shift gears in another direction. Maybe their current thought is if users want to find info they can go to Google or MSN, but if they want to buy a product or are interested in some form of media entertainment the Yahoo is going to have the edge
>>> 3 years
If my dusty memory serves, Google was getting spanked by spam at Yahoo's age. And by *way* less sophisticated techniques than those being aimed at Yahoo and MSN right now (and what will be coming in the future).
Yahoo wants to suck (or doesn't care if they suck - not sure the logic behind that) because they make more money (or their money in general) off the ads.
If Yahoo sucks, they eventually lose market share - less people to click on the ads. Even if you go with the "corporate money hungry looking to only push Overture" tin hat model instead of the "they want to try and produce a good product" theory, they make more off their ads the more people they get on the site to search - either angle you believe, you can bet their working towards making the engine quality better in any way they can.
I agree 100%. From where I sit, Y has not placed a very high priority on search. I cannot emphasize enough that there is nothing wrong with that. All businesses have to make decisions on how to invest their time, talent and money in order to return the highest profits - especially public companies. Alexa says yahoo is the most visited website on the Internet. Those visitors create an automatic audience for their search engine...people who are on y anyway and don't want to leave. It gives Y a built in share of market without having to be good. Frankly, I would love to have a profitable business without having to be good. Maybe we should just accept the fact that Y search is bad because they don't want to be good...they certainly could be good if they wanted to.
|How long ago has this been? |
This past August, 2005.
|Let me try and restate the point I was trying to make in msg #3... Here's my point: I think there are others who will drop Overture when MSN debuts... |
Well... the topic of discussion is Yahoo Search and the quality of the organic results. Organic... results.
But, if the quality of search in your niche is as bad as you say it is I'd keep quiet about it and keep raking it in with PPC.
The other side of the coin as mentioned, which is key to this, is that if the results remain the way they are users will drift away and use other search engines hence less potential clicks on your adverts.
From the surfers point of view they want relevent results to a search. The PPC adverts are always in the prime positions anyway but if the other results are garbage they will leave.
Look at askjeeves - when it was all google sponsored adverts and no results it went nowhere. People dont rate it as a serious search engine hence less visitors - is this what Yahooo want?, poor results in the hope that more click on sponsored adverts at the risk of users going elsewhere?
Once msn breaks away from overture i think Yahoo could have serious problems. They are certain to get a fall in advertisers using them as a percentage migrate to msn so they need to start work now on seriously improving the results.
If Yahoo started to get a name for itself as being a provider of the best search engine results more users would start using them and in turn that would attract more webmasters and companies to advertise with them.
They need to reverse the current down spiral of producing poor serps, followed by poor serps, followed by advertisers looking to advertise elsewhere.
I think im right in saying that Yahoos financial results recently were not as hot as they should have been? I just think the clocks ticking, they need to doing something now before its to late.
There's an implication in some of these posts that Y's SERP's are much worse than G's. I personally believe that while that was once true, it's no longer true.
Y's results have historically been spotty. But lately I've seen improvement.
After a recent major update, as MB noted, they asked for input and seem to have been working hard to address some of the issues raised at that time.
I have issues with their algo, and have historically been vocal about the nature of my observations and issues. But that is true of G too.
In fairness, and along the lines of Rae's comments, what the SE's are doing is mind bogglingly complex, and the complexity is probably growing geometrically on pace with the growth and at times abuse of the Internet (my opinion only).
If anything, I - who was once once a default G user - now spread my searches across G, Y, MSN and Ask, all of which in different ways provide useful SERP's.
>>>They are certain to get a fall in advertisers using them as a percentage migrate to msn
The impact of MSN's ad program isn't going to be that Overture loses advertisers - it will be that they lose distribution.
Any PPC heavy with an account the engines feel is worth keeping will use *all* ad services available as long as they convert. People aren't going to dump Yahoo simply because an additional ppc source is available.
I know that when MSN comes out with their own ads, I will be adding them to my advertising budget. Yahoo and MSN customers seem to convert better than Google traffic anyway. I think Google traffic is more research than shopping.
I use Yahoo more than Google for pure research. The Advanced search options are very robust once you learn how to use them. Good job Y!
Well it looks like someone is listening!
A small shake up of the UK serps has results in the sectors we watch that are very good. Results we can use for once!
Im amazed, a massive improvement over the last year, just when i had given up on them.
Notice that no one else has noticed this update yet?, i guess others had given up.
Its been like this since lunch time today by my knowledge - looks like things COULD be on the up!
Good luck all
yep, the shakeup is good and the results are much better now!
Finally, our site is back for its own domain name search "keyword1 keyword2 keyword3" our domain beeing keyword1keyword2keyword3.com.
We were listed on Yahoo's 4th SER page for those keywords, for more than 3 months now, at it is a 10 year old website with white hat SEO on it, which is ranked in top 5 on Google and MSN for more than 50 related keywords in our market.
Good job Yahoo!
Update thread is over here