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Prior to October, Yahoo used their directory as the default when searching. About that time they switched to a new format using "web results", or Google as the default. Yahoo's business has pretty much turned around since that point. I'm sure at some point they'll probably switch to Ink since they now own it, but to use their directory again in any substantial way would be a disaster, IMO.
I'm inclined to disagree. Directory listings seem to me to be a pretty reliable revenue stream for Y! and I'm pretty sure the type of visitor yahoo gets is not as concerned with relevancy as you might think. I've never heard a great deal of complaints regarding relevancy at Yahoo, and similarly i've haven't heard too much praise either now that it's yahoogle. If Yahoo visitors are truly concerned about relevancy they would probably be using Google ;)
They've also succeeded in alienating many webmasters who paid for directory listings only to find that their $300 didn't actually do very much.
I think the human element of Y! directory listings gives it an interesting difference from sites like Google.
They are still making money from directory listings. Take a look at their new additions page. Maybe not as many as before, but it still looks like a fairly significant amount. Also, take a look at their 1st quarter earnings report that came out a couple of weeks ago. Pretty strong, and this factors in the move to "web listings" without their directory in Oct.
Also, regarding relevancy, their search traffic is up since October. And if they believed so strongly in their directory, how come they switched away from it in the first place?
I've seen the report. But as far as I can tell the increase in revenue came from premium subscribers and sponsored listings, nothing to do with the Google serps. You could argue that the Google results contributed to this, but there's no direct link there.
>>their search traffic is up since October
Their traffic levels were up generally and so again, I see no direct link to Google serps.
>>And if they believed so strongly in their directory, how come they switched away from it in the first place?
I don't think they do believe that strongly in the directory, which I personally think is a mistake.
Yahoo's directory is their own and unique. Rehashing Google (maybe inktomi too?) serps may work for many visitors but there's always the danger that the visitors will eventually go direct to the source.
Good thing that Ink has been spidering extensively over the last months.
So Google being in the boat until the end of the year may still be true, only that perhaps they are not the only provider.
Who knows...maybe we can expect them to bring in MSN's results this fall so there will be no need for the Yahoo directory listings anymore. (I'm being facetious.)
It has become remarkably clear that very few people actually go through their directory results. It's all about the SERPs, and these make their directory listings worth less with every new set of results they introduce to the mix.