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What would be the overall effect to you, if Yahoo told Google to dump the ODP as part of a new contract provision?
Moreover, I agree with bird and yankee that Yahoo is in a poor position to dictate terms to Google with respect to ODP. Yahoo is losing market share rapidly, partly because they serve their significantly irrelevant directory results ahead of Google's superior results. Yahoo's search design really creates a hassle for their customers--people don't like having to sift through junk on the Web, they want to get what they want fast. After all, computers are built for that type of drudgery. What Yahoo really needs to do is dump their own page results and just merge their directory categories with Google's page results, and continue to add value to their portal services like finance, chat, discussion groups, etc. If Yahoo were to drop Google in favor of second-rate technology, it would lose customers even faster than it is now.
Google, on the other hand, has already overtaken Yahoo in information retrieval services, is growing rapidly and can profit without them. Google is in the position of kingmaker for any portal available while Yahoo appears to sit on its laurels milking its brand for advertising dollars even as its (search) customer base hemorrhages.
As to which directory is superior, I think ODP is more complete than Yahoo's with the quality of listings and descriptions being a draw. 50,000 volunteers and 3.5 million sites creates a pretty compelling business proposition for Google, especially when they add value to it by using their ranking technology and slap Google directory on it for free.
Yahoo has more to lose and Google less to gain in a strongarm move. It might make sense for Google to sacrifice its directory in exchange for Yahoo's directory AND its news search, though-- that might be a win-win.
I would be a little sad, because it would indicate they are starting to want money more than relevance.. since the ODP, with all it's faults, is a lot better than Yahoo.
However, as pointed out, if Google did drop them, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense...
Unless I start to muse about Yahoo being one of Google's shareholders and a pretty big one, at that...so in many ways, though there isn't a whole lot of 'logic in it' or revenue, Google might just do it, if Yahoo asked.
I have sites that were long listed in the ODP enjoy great listings in Google.
On the otherhand I have been unable to list new sites in some categories without success.
The revelancy of ODP is inconsistent, favoring older sites and categories that have active editiors.
It also has been reported in many posts that certain categories might be abused by self serving editors.
Basing any returns based upon this database is inconsistent and biased in some terms.
I do think the ODP has value, the question is how much.
I have a lot of good ODP listings, with sites listed in exactly the relevant categories. Checking the last 30 days of server logs, referrals from directory.google.com are less than 1% of the total referrals from Google.
I haven't talked to anybody who said the Google Directory was a major traffic source for them. The traffic from directory.google.com is not a threat to Yahoo. There are more important things they could worry about.
The way Google is taking over market share, chances are that in two years time Yahoo- and AOL-search will have decimated to 20% of the searches that they have now anyway.
Anyone know whether the Yahoo! Express listings bring in a reasonable % of revenue? If so, then surely Yahoo! would at least try to get Google to carry them.
Even if Google did run a branded version of the Yahoo! directory, I can't imagine the listings getting into the SERPs. It just seems too far from how they want to be perceived for the moment.
So while for english sites and biz cats Yahoo might come close to the richness of ODP, for all other languages and informational cats Google would have a pretty poor directory when dropping ODP in favour of Yahoo.
Let's look at it from a monetary standpoint. They are both there to make money, right? And they way that Yahoo does is buy attacting users. Now if Google all of the sudden uses Yahoo directory, why would anyone want to go to Yahoo? The reason that Yahoo uses Google is because it can give their users the best possible search results beginning with their directory and then with Google results from the web pages section. This lets users stay at Yahoo and not leave, plus brings them back later. This builds up the user staying power of Yahoo. In return, the more people that come and the longer they stay, the more money that Yahoo can charge for ads, directory listings and other features. If they give up the directory, they are basically pushing their customers away. The customers could then go to Google and get the same results without all of the ads.
The only way that this scenerio will ever happen is if Google gets bought up by Yahoo.
Because they know it. They advertise on the Super Bowl and they have that funny Yaaahooo yodle that sticks in your head. People use Yahoo because they and have spent a fortune in adverstising and have branded thier product. People are going to use Yahoo no matter what Google does.
I would say that 90% of internet searchers wouldn't know the difference anyway.