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That was once sacrilege to ask, but it is pretty clear that the directory model is a relic of history.
They are their own premium content publisher - people pay $300 per year to have the privilege to compete with Overture adverts.
At any rate, Yahoo Directory does send plenty of visitors to non-commercial SERPs.
I have an info site that has over 20 Y! directory listings, and it is easily getting 15% of unique visitors from Y! Directory.
> non-commercial SERPs.
Sorry, that should have been sites.
[edited by: PatrickDeese at 1:52 am (utc) on Jan. 23, 2004]
Really? Wonder what percent of Google's searches come through their directory? If people always opt for quality, how come next to no one uses their directory?
How would a bunch of people sift through 3 billion web pages on a daily basis to check for changes?
<<Human edited directories are the wave of the future, not the past.>>
Hmmm...thought IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft were dall developing algorythmic search as we speak. Maybe behind the scenes these web giants are hiring masses of teenagers to rate web pages instead of that whole "AI" thingy :)
To be honest, I had completely forgotten that Yahoo! even had a directory.
joined:Nov 11, 2000
I'm also a big fan of high quality niche directories... wish there were more of them.
And yes, Yahoo's directory has gotten pretty scraggly... definitely doesn't reflect the kind of care I'm seeing from some dedicated ODP editors... but I don't think a lot of businesses know that.
There are still a lot of folks out there who think that the meta keywords tag and submission to Yahoo is all there is to SEO. We may know that some categories aren't worth $300/yr, either in terms of PageRank boost or drill-down traffic, but many people will keep paying.
Maybe the directory isn't as lucrative to Yahoo as PFI or PPC, but I can't imagine that at $300/yr for three minutes of an editor's work that Yahoo is losing money on it. And they'd be kinda naked without it, like McDonalds without hamburgers.
For local and regional in Yahoo, though, I see Internet Yellow Pages coming along fast... and I'm already wondering what the algo is going to be on the paid listings there.
I used to use Yahoo all the time, and now that Google's getting less useful, I'd love to have a real directory to fall back on when looking for info.
As search becomes more valuable, the more sense it makes to spend more money on editors and directories to cull out the piffle, spam, duplicates and other very low quality sites, while valuing above average sites.
Also, as I've mentioned before, my #1 keyword has been ranked on Yahoo since August using some non-Google, non-Ink, Non-Fast, non-AV algorithm that gives heavy weight to the Directory (plus mostly Google). These results are excellent, and a good zillion times better than Ink. If they want quality results, this is the direction to go.
A Human Edited Dir is like PageRank, it's part of a bigger equation which helps to create better SERPs.
Or Yahoo could keep the directory and when presenting Ink results, they could introduce a slight negative bias for sites not in the directory.
This could hide under the guise of "Link Popularity".
That's what I'm expecting. Why not sell paid inclusion and directory listings? For webmasters, one could enhance the value of the other.
They could drop a very slight hint somewhere, just suggesting that their directory is a small part of their algo. ( "to enhance the experience of the surfer," of course.)
Over the next year or so, expect new algo's which I think will replace the need for human classification - thus Direcotries as we know them - will become extinct (unless there is still a viable business model.)
Back then, we did some analysis on present and future cost of running the directory and potential earnings. The charts did NOT look good. In fact, every single model we tested would only lead to less and less profitabibility over time.
One of the main factors here was, as with any directory, the cost of human resources. Not even with a $299 submision fee would it be profitable in the long run and there would have been no way for us to scale up production: More production would have to be supported by more people = more cost. The product was simply not profitable enough and impossible to scale.
Would you pay $999 or $1599 for a Yahoo sumission? I guess not :)
I do off course not know Yahoo's internal numbers on but I bet you they are not that different than what I had to deal with in my previous job: The metrics are the same and the lack of scalability identical. Much different from the recently aquired Overture ...
So, I would not be surprised if Yahoo choose to focus more on Overture, Inktomi and other services that can scale and be much more profitable - and still serve users with resutls that most normal users seem to to be saticefied with.
If we could charge £199 for each review, we would be absolutely raking the cash in. I honestly can't see how Yahoo aren't making a small fortune from the directory. It will be nothing in comparison to the PPC profits, but money is money, and the directory is a good long term asset.
While the serps for this term in the past have been populated with agents sites, now one can see commercial, appraisal, real estate sections of local papers, large real estate portals, etc.
With the directory, I can drill down into the sub cats that best apply and find listings much more specific to my search. While I dont use it that much, when I do need it, it offers value. I hope they keep it.
Agreed. Very few people search the Yahoo directory and even fewer search the ODP. New web surfers don't even know about these tools, and likely won't find out about them.
Irregardless of people's claims here about how useful they are or how much we might like them, usage of them is low.
From a profit viewpoint, I think Yahoo will dump it and while increasing the fee for Paid INK inclusion. I do believe the free INK inclusion for "worthy" sites will continue, otherwise Yahoo/INK will be junked up index (a lesson they already learned a couple of years ago).
And certainly totally irrelevant. Why do people even mention this in the context of this discussion?
There are two issues here. The minor one is whether the directory itself is profitable on a $299/site basis. The proof of that is that Yahoo has happily continued it for so long, expecially the past 18 months. But again this is minor. The major issue is the value of having quality, relevant search results that the public embraces. Google got visitors in part because it embraced the ODP. Yahoo could become a favored search location, with the associated $$$$$$$$$ benefits of that, by adding weight (on top of a bot algorithm) to sites that earned their way into the directory.
Whether people themselves drill down into the directory is so unimportant that it isn't worth mentioning. Yes, as a user that can be useful, but the commerce of all this for Yahoo is being "the search destination". Obviously they have no chance of that by using Ink. The Directory should be central to their plans.
Yahoo could hire inexpensive telecommuters to review and maintain the directory. (Something like AOL's ACI program.) Without its directory, what is Yahoo? Just another search site in the crowd.
But Looksmart had long before gone the way of the shill for hire, and that was the inevitable result. Yahoo's free results have not kept up with the internet, although they surely aren't "worse than worthless" yet.
bought their way into the directory. We all know that basically any site that can be accessed on the web can get into the directory.
To the original question, I would imagine they will keep the directory as it is basically never used so they don't have to worry much about quality, just keep it hidden from the public like they have been doing. I doubt Y! spent a quarter BILLION on INK for fun...
Could Yahoo block directory access to Google but use the directory to increase relevancy of Inktomi results?