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Yahoo Search Engine and Directory Forum

This 75 message thread spans 3 pages: 75 ( [1] 2 3 > >     
What is Right & Wrong with Yahoo Search?
If You Were to Give Constructive Advice...

 10:40 pm on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

There are some searches where Yahoo really impresses. Like I did a search for a specific kind of religous services in San Francisco and it returned calendar pages from websites that featured hours for when these services were occurring. Nice.

But then there are other popular searches where the first or second position is occupied by thin content MFA sites, or non-relevant .gov/.edu sites. Yuck.

Is it good enough to be good enough?

What bugs you about Yahoo Search and how would you suggest that it be fixed?



 10:57 pm on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

At the moment everything seems to be messed up with Yahoo! Have you checked out their SERP's today? Try a three word phrase about something and notice that some sites dominate the listings 10 pages deep with the same domain name and not with a sub-domain.

Yahoo might as well remove MORE FROM THIS SITE below every serp at the moment as there is simply no reason to see MORE FROM THIS SITE when all of the SERP's are dominated by one domain 10 pages deep!


 11:16 pm on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yes. A single word term I track shows a single domain with 7 of the top 20 spots.

www.widgets.com/Gallery #2
www.widgets.com #6
www.widgets.com/QnA/Behavior.aspx #9
www.widgets.com/QnA/Care.aspx #14
www.widgets.com/WidgetLibrary/AbstractsHistory.aspx #15
www.widgets.com/WidgetLibrary #16
www.widgets.com/WidgetLibrary/AbstractsMarketing.aspx #17

It is a pretty good site, but not that good! It would also seem that a search for widgets should bring back the general, while search for widget history should bring back the specific. Y has this fubar'd.

The above site benefits from ROS links in phony directories, ROS links in a couple made for SEO Blogs, and similar tactics. It also benefits from having THE domain name.

Again, can't fault the site, only the sheer number of listings...



 12:46 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Poor judgement of true value, increase niche authority value 10x... like increasing value of a Yahoo Directory listing in that niche. Which also means they have to start recognizing niche, which they do a poor job of.

As mentioned above, a search for "amazon" now brings up endless results from amazon.com, rather than just two.

Do better with canonicals, as similar amazon searches show, they have www and non-www results in the same search.

Red flag keyword subdomains to combat the most elemntary school spam du jour.


 12:48 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Quite interesting aye SteveB?! 355 million amazon results and not a single listing different than amazon's domains. :>~

If Yahoo's not broke I don't know what is!


 3:15 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Great question. Answer to part A: On my site, Y is indexing internal urls that were removed from the site over three years ago. There is a 301 to the correct urls. Y indexed them for a couple of months, but has reverted to the old ones. At y's request, I have brought it to their attention on their search blog and their site explorer feedback. Zip! Answer to second part: I'm not a tech guy, but it seems to me that if your spider can't follow a 301, maybe you should start from scratch.


 3:40 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

LOL - Amazon

Guess it wouldn't do much good to send my kids to Y to do homework for a report on South America!

Somehow a Wiki entry snuck in at #176 for the river.

Do Y'all think Y is a little too focused on the commercial side of search?



 7:05 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

It appears YAHOO immediately fixed the problems I reported earlier in this thread.

Good job Yahoo....I loved dominating your SERP's but honestly that would have been poor for your users.


 8:39 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yeah, the amazon phenomenon is gone. Somebody must've forgotten to throw a switch...


 9:06 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I still see it, it's funny as hell...o everybody.


 11:06 am on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

My biggest issue is that most sites ranking in top ten of the financial sectors we are involved in are participating in link buying schemes and guestbook link dropping. Some of thse high ranking sites are one page sites, ranking for one word terms!


 12:59 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

What is Wrong with Yahoo Search?

Nobody uses it?

(or so my stats tell me)


 1:24 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

For the searches I monitor, they do a decent job of controlling spam. And also let me say that between my two sites, Yahoo is my number one referrer.

However, for highly competitive keywords, the top positions seem to be a bit stale. By that I mean they seem to be static, hand edited results. These top sites have:

1. been around for a while
2. are in the yahoo directory
3. are listed in dmoz as well
4. are NOT updated with fresh content

I would say that my recommendation would be more frequent review of the hand edited serps to include my sites :)


 6:02 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

...more frequent review of the hand edited serps to include my sites...

At least he's honest. :P


 6:34 pm on Jan 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

I wonder if something is really wrong with the way referers come through (or don't come through, that is) from Yahoo Search. For years I've been reading report after report that shows that Google has about double Yahoo's share of the search market - and often less than that.

But the server logs for any site I see that is indexed on both search engines show a much bigger gap -- often a huge gap of 5x or more. This discrepancy seems to hold over many types of websites.

I wonder if the redirecting and click counting they do behind the scenes is stripping off the referer data somehow. Either that or the media "reports" are nothing but puff pieces.


 6:42 pm on Jan 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have one website that was appearing 25 times on the first 100 results for a particular search term, although it is with internal pages.

I also had some rankings of #1 , #2, and #3 and sometimes I loose that position and appear on #20 or #30.

It has been unstable on the last few days.

I noticed that when I appear at the top like I did on the last month, it appears on my result a RSS link to the site, and when I lost the position there is no RSS link.

I don't know what's happening.


 1:28 am on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Whats wrong? A deliberate algo tweak to bury sites on High Dollar Keywords.

Fix that and stop playing that game, and Yahoo might have a chance, continue on the current path and the 20% MS will continue to dwinndle into nothing.

They know what they are doing, they need no help, its just a shame to see one of the big 3 going down, we need a more even split between the 3 to even things out.


 3:13 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

Y! is a bit behind on their schedule. I would like to see them update the index on a monthly basis at he very least, so we aren;t seeing dead links or sites scoring based on old - often 3 month + old data.

Get rid of all the Y! product links and hard coded serps. Too much clutter really.

On a positive note, the local search is quite good and overall, they are doing a decent job.

As far as their market share, I have not noticed a dropat all. BUT, if I were the Yahoo! brass, I would be VERY concerned about targetting the youth, as they all seem to go with google, and down the road, this could be the death of Y! search.


 5:03 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

It would be nice if they showed the cache date, perhaps their concerned about a visual display of a lack of frequency on the crawling?

Either way, if they are going to cache your site, they should display the date of when that took place.


 5:13 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

If Yahoo companion adds a site search feature, I would probably switch from Google toolbar. This one feature is the most powerful search feature which keeps me with Google and is overlooked by the rest.


 5:33 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

It seems to me that before we can make suggetions regarding how Y can improve their SERPs, we must first understand the reason(s) that they are inferior. At the core, there can only be two reasons: they are indifferent or they are incompetent. The solution(s) depend on which it is.


 7:03 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

...they are indifferent or they are incompetent.

It's hard to spend millions of dollars on something and be categorized as indifferent, lol. As far as incompetent, is NASA incompetent because they lose a spacecraft here and there?

We all know that Yahoo is doing great things with search and have come a very long way. Compare Yahoo with MSN on some searches and you'll see a large quality difference in favor of Yahoo. When I get frustrated with Google I often find it on Yahoo.

mfishy and randle bring up some good points about freshness. While it's not as stale as Ask Jeeves, it would be nice to have that cache data to know how up to date the data that we're looking at is.

We can obtain last months info at archive.org, and last week's data at Google. So why should Yahoo even bother with a cache feature that renders itself pointless?

Lack of Variety in SERPS
viboranegra brings up the point about variety. The search for Amazon is a great example of Yahoo's failure to keep one site from dominating, as well as perhaps skewing the serps to what I suppose may be a set of trusted sites or maybe even a breakdown in their process. Whatever it is, this doesn't look good.

A search for Amazon River brings wikipedia in the top result, which is bland but somewhat helpful if you're looking for a superficial overview, but the fifth serp position features a music CD of Amazon River Music that can be purchased at Amazon.com, lol.

Is that a trusted site skewing the serp? Or is Yahoo throwing in a random shopping related result in every search? Both MSN and Google do a better job with Amazon River.

Traffic Levels
Tedster puts his finger on the discrepancy between what the logs say Yahoo's market share is and what you read "out there" that Yahoo's market share is, and asks if it's all fudged numbers or are the tracking codes hiding the referrer.

I used to think the same about ASK, believing the referral might not be recorded in our logs because ASK framed the websites linked to from their SERPS. So ASK removed their frames and virtually all webmasters reported that the traffic was still a dribble- many of them despite being in the TOP 3 of ASK serps.

My gut feeling on this is that the rds.yahoo url is not enough to hide the true source of a Yahoo referral. The lack of traffic may partially stem from the three or four ads, plus the myweb and shortcut links Yahoo crams above the actual serps.

I also wonder how real those Yahoo Search market share numbers really are, if they are pumped up by activities other than search.


 10:00 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

What comes to mind right away:

1 - Unable to recognize the true value of incoming links from real authority site

2 - Hand code most competitive serp and is unable to provide uality results otherwise

3 - Can't f.... crawl correctly some domains for YEARS while competitors can

4 - Penalize websites based on false assumption very often (Explanation: very stupidly if you will there is little way to compensate a penalty)

5 - SERP / Index is not refreshed frequently enough - Their bot seems to eat ton of data but it doesn't reflect on SERP which is therefore a waste of our bandwidth ...and theirs Yahoo takes forever to get a simple website right

6 - The most easy to manipulate search engine + does give a damn about user feedback!

Overall: Unless they humanly review the SERP then they can not provide quality results most of the time - IMO Yahoo is using a technology / Algorigthm from another time, they are based on false assumptions and poor understanding of what the internet search is really about now, though they have money to buy what others have created before them they should not be a threat for the future Google - MSN search for long (unfortunately)


 5:36 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I also wonder how real those Yahoo Search market share numbers really are, if they are pumped up by activities other than search.

I've always wondered myself where their market share numbers come from. My guess is they have heavy default homepage numbers that drives traffic and probably pretty good numbers from the my.yahoo stuff. But as far as search, I just don't see it. I have a general business term that I'm #1 at Yahoo and #2 at Google but Google historically generates 3x more traffic than Yahoo.

One possible explanation is that it is more related to the targeted user of a site (mine are more business-related). It seems Yahoo tends to be more consumer-oriented than business-oriented.


 5:56 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have not liked there serps for about a year, they realy look like the first search engine results from the 90s, how to fix it? well inktomi have never had any good results, maybe they should take the offer from MSN, also have you noticed that ALOT of sites are missing in there searches.


 6:36 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't think their serps are any worse than google's. I sometimes can't find stuff on google and I find it on Yahoo. The main difference I see is that Yahoo indexes and ranks everything while Google seems to rank only a couple of hundred of their favorite sites across the net. Seems less spammy but you miss out on alot.


 6:40 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

This is great topic, thanks martinibuster...

I have to say that I'm using Yahoo more and more for search. They seem to have very good information in some areas - although this is what I think I see.

For "non-competitive" search terms they seem to be as deep as anyone - I mean dead on for what I need. I think this is because of emphasis on title and H1, H2... tags - on page stuff. This same emphasis makes Yahoo open to spam and MFA pages and scrapers.

I also agree with the comment about freshness. Slurp is very aggressive yet it seems to take forever for some pages to appear - months in fact.


 6:42 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

No one cant maintain a search engine by just manually tweaking the results.

Just keep watching, MSN search will climb to No.2 position in Search Market.


 9:00 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> Just keep watching, MSN search will climb to No.2 position in Search Market.

In order for that to happen, MSN would have to somehow dethrone the popularity of Yahoo itself. People who search via MSN or Yahoo are generally on those sites for other reasons - to read articles, read news, or because their home page (my.yahoo.com) is set there.

Only way MSN will dethrone Yahoo is if MSN becomes a more dominate portal than Yahoo - which I truthfully don't see happening (although i've come to like MSN quite a bit, recently).



 9:20 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

Top 3 Peeves
Nothing new here, but just to reinforce.

1) Do better with canonicals

2) update more often (seriously where is all that spidered data being used for?)

3) follow & credit redirect in general.

This 75 message thread spans 3 pages: 75 ( [1] 2 3 > >
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