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Is Yahoo Hand Coding More Serps?

Seeing What Looks like Hand Coding in *Some* Serps

   
3:11 am on Aug 8, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I think we have all seen areas in the past that were loaded with what looked like hard coded sites sitting on top of the regular results, but this looks like its creeping into more and more areas. With all the outcry over the latest update, has Y! decided that the algo just isn't cutting it and they now have to hand tweak in order to have clean results?
5:46 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Yahoo and all the engines have always utilized "hand cleaning" methods in order to improve relevancy. A few years ago at an SES presentation, Yahoo and the other engines were talking about their methodology for improving results. Pretty much all of them included this component of the overall process:

1. Pick a subset of phrases, both high traffic and niche
2. Run the results on their engine and competitors' engines
3. Have human editors "score" the relevancy of each item in each SERP
4. Make modifications to the algo based on which items received the highest overall scores, and use this for "training" the algo

So, one might assume that along the way they may also cherry-pick a few of them which score ultra-high across the board for relevancy, and weight outcome in the results set. It's a good methodology. There's nothing wrong with it, as it's set by editorial and not the advertising department (right?)

5:57 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member caveman is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



if Y wants to become a directory again

Yes indeed.

So, one might assume that along the way they may also cherry-pick a few of them which score ultra-high across the board for relevancy, and weight outcome in the results set. It's a good methodology. There's nothing wrong with it, as it's set by editorial and not the advertising department (right?)

Well that would be one thing, but what's happening is a bit more extreme. Plus, it's as if they think searchers are only looking for research doc's and general information. Some people searching on goods or services kw's actually do want to buy things. Y should think about mixing it up so that a variety of different kinds of results are offered.
6:53 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



perhaps it would be helpful to everyone to have two radio buttons..one for serps WITH hand coding and the other for serps without hand coding...then nobody could complain....
8:35 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Y should do exactly what they are doing with the hand sorted results, plus revist them on a regular basis, plus do more, plus use these results as a seed for results in broad niches. Every result I've seen, including the terms I have zero interest in, include results exactly on the topic of the query and offering the content a searcher would almost certainly want. And then they do the double duty of pushing interchangeable results lower in the serps.
9:11 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



>>> Y should do exactly what they are doing with the hand sorted results

So in other words, be a directory and not a true search engine?

<added> I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you have a site thats been hard coded for a tough to get at term Steve? </added?>

11:04 pm on Aug 12, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



I have noticed that Yahoo results have been improving over the last year. After the last update I noticed that one of my stupid sites dropped from the first page. So, I concluded that a human must have reviewed it. I still believe when the G'hype settles, Yahoo will be rediscovered.

A few months ago the SERPS from Yahoo and MSN seemed eerily similar to me. I noticed that I would often get results for only one word in keyword phrases. About a month ago I did a search for some phrases that had previously produced irrelevant spam on all the main search engines. Yahoo performed well. I was really surprised. I don't know what Yahoo is doing, but to me it seems to be getting better.
5:05 pm on Aug 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



because it would not be cost effective
If your algo cannot return anything that users find relevant, hand coding the top results on popular searches might insure adequate income until the algo is fixed.

Recently, I've seen evidence suggesting hand edits, some of it quite compelling. And I've seen reports from people that I've learned to trust. But I'm not yet convinced that hand editing has become a permanent and routine part of building Yahoo! SERPs.

2:02 am on Aug 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member steveb is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member




Defining search result quality by how you rank, and then wasting everybody's time by posting about that is the goofiest thing people who miss the point of Internet marketing do.

I like high quality search results because (1) I search the Internet often, and (2) I build quality content websites. Garbage peddlers of course have different priorities and hate high quality serps, and hand sorted (updated) results. But in either case, please could the self-absorbed dudes spare us their "the serps suck because I rank for crap" and "the serps are great because I rank good" drivel.

[edited by: martinibuster at 8:24 pm (utc) on Aug. 14, 2005]
[edit reason] cleanup. [/edit]

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