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What is Right & Wrong with Yahoo Search?

If You Were to Give Constructive Advice...



10:40 pm on Jan 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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?


6:31 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Sounds like you rank good on Yahoo and not Google/MSN. This is not about bias.......

Its about trying to help Yahoo fix its BROKEN Search Engine.

Why dont you worry about better content on your site, and the rest of us will comment on whats Broken with Yahoo.


11:50 pm on Jan 29, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

your joking arnt you?

On the sites we work with that rank great in Yahoo they get 70%+ of their traffic from Google, 20% from Yahoo and less than 6% from MSN.

Yahoo, has very little pull in the UK its dominated by Google.

What im saying is that Yahoo doesnt need fixing. Its algo is different to Google its that simple! - Get it now?.

I do know a fair bit about what it likes to rank well in Yahoo from what ive seen of the sites that do rank well, but it means doing things differently SEO wise compared to SEO for Google and thats how it is. What works for Google doesnt for Yahoo, its not using an aged Page rank system giving extra weight based on age and page backlinks

You can winge and discuss this untill the cows come home, either that or look at what is ranking in Yahoo and think about why and then improve your site OR move on and give up trying.

Yahoo is NOT broken


2:55 am on Jan 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My sites don't rank well in Yahoo, however I happen to agree with RichTC - Yahoo is fine. I only use Google for my technical searches. Commercial sites are much better represented in MSN and Yahoo and in high competitive areas Yahoo is as good as MSN or better probably due to hand editing. If Iím looking to buy some gadget I go to MSN or Yahoo, if I want some info about that gadget I go to Google.


3:22 am on Feb 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

It seems to me that Yahoo is more likely to link to a homepage if the keywords are mentioned there rather than link to the deeper and more specific pages.

This means searchers have to look around through the site to find what they want.


5:24 pm on Feb 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

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...rather than link to the deeper and more specific pages

You can always add some smarts to your site to compensate for this little deficiency. This is where professionals get some advantage over amateurs; grab the search query, parse it, look up the best landing page for it, forward the user to that page. Works like a charm!


12:36 am on Feb 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

grab the search query, parse it, look up the best landing page for it, forward the user to that page

Interesting idea, but I wonder what a search engine would think if it caught a site doing this. I doubt that they would approve. Might even get you banned, don't you think?


2:04 am on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I would say freshness, Yahoo seprs are the stalest of the big three by far.

I'd also say they still weight title, domain name and keywords a bit too heavily. I have a complete garbage site that hasn't been touched in over a year with no useful content whatever and it has been #1 in Yahoo for about two years for some rather lucrative keywords while my main site which has excellent content and does major business is nowhere to be found. The stale site is basically www.keywords.com title: "Keywords" Text keywords, blah blah keywords, blah blah keywords.

Totally undeserving of such recognition, yet still #1.


9:02 pm on Feb 10, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Recently (I don't know exactly when), Yahoo Canada made "strict" the default selection for the Mature Content Filter. However, the filter is awful in that it's unreliable and doesn't even filter mature Sponsor Listings. I may be biased because of an adult website client, but I still think it's a very bad marketing decision to make "Strict" the default. The filter seems to be in Beta mode and doesn't work well, and it's competely ineffective against any 10-year old kid who knows enough to click the Preferences tab, whereas many adults searching for adult themes will be confused by the poor search results. The only real benefactors are adult sponsors (whose ads aren't blocked by the filter for some absurd reason) and any adult website which arbitrarily manages to escape the filter.

I have no idea why Yahoo.ca has implemented this whereas Yahoo.com's "SafeSearch" is off by default, considering that, overall, Canada is generally considered to be more liberal than much of the US.

The other thing is Yahoo/Overture Canada as per this thread [webmasterworld.com]


5:51 am on Feb 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I don't post too much about Yahoo!, but think it is great they got one of the little things right:

I can't remember if I have posted here about how frustrating it is to search for 'widget in state' and get results for 'widget in Florida' when I searched for 'widget in California'. It is usually the first thing I check during updates... the Jan. changes got it right (first time I have seen anyway) for the results I check.

Thanks Guys.



11:06 pm on Feb 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

...Yahoo local is fine, even though far from being impressive since their collect accurate data from other means (their directory etc...). This is not really going to help them in true SERP where IMO they are way back and obsolete.

What really is terrible for them is that bandwidth issue, continuously crawling websites and not reflecting what they crawl for MONTHS is pitiful.

I am not saying Yahoo is broken though, I am saying they dont even have the will of making it accurate and technically they dont have the means to keep it up to Google and MSN in the long run.

The only reason why most popular searches show well in Yahoo is because they manually review these sites - That is terrible as well as efficient if you like being told what you must see regardless of its true popularity/relevance.

True: Not Broken
Also True: Not Good enought


1:00 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Speaking of yahoo crawling, they seem to have stopped obeying robots.txt. I posted this exactly a month ago on this thread:

msg #:56 2:12 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (utc -5)

Figured out what to do...I've updated my robots.txt entry to slow down their crawl:

User-agent: Slurp
Crawl-delay: 120

One page every two minutes should be enough for them.

It worked at slowing down their crawler for a while, but now they're ignoring it and crawling faster again.


2:29 pm on Feb 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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

it easy, just to many sites are missing on yahoo.


3:40 am on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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yahoo is the worst


4:34 pm on Feb 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Looks like yahoo engineers may be watching this thread. Their slurp crawler just started obeying my crawl delay in robots.txt again. Nice work! Now, if they can just... ;-)


6:24 am on Feb 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When they stop watching this thread and hand coding popular SERP may be they can build a REAL search engines too -
Pitiful to have a research lab and throw out such craps to call it search engine -
This 75 message thread spans 3 pages: 75

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