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Yahoo! Open Search: Closed is the New Open

The Yahoo! Search Blog announced a new “open approach to search,” that looks somewhat similar to the recommendations I gave Yahoo! for “improving” their company in January – except I called it making search more exclusive. It looks like me and Yahoo! might have different opinions about the meaning of “open.”

The blog doesn’t give too many details, but we’ll see how things roll out. According to Yahoo!:

Because the platform is open it gives all Web site owners — big or small — an opportunity to present more useful information on the Yahoo! Search page as compared to what is presented on other search engines.


Here is how it works: website owners like Yelp, WebMD, The New York Times, and anyone else can supply us with their data and our patented Machined Learned Ranking helps ensure these results are presented to users at the right time.

The bottom line is website owners who supply Yahoo! with specific categorized information will get more links on a search results page. Of course, the website owners who take the time to employ this new tool will be large website owners, companies specifically, that get significant amounts of traffic and revenue from Yahoo! Whether or not it will influence rankings or relevancy calculations isn’t exactly clear, but Yahoo!’s new tool clearly benefits a specific crowd of website owners, making the search engine more exclusive, more closed.

This is a small move by Yahoo! I don’t consider it to be that significant, as of yet. The big move would be if they allowed website owners to influence rankings by the data they label and supply directly to Yahoo! Giving an even bigger advantage to sites that take the time to create a feed, or otherwise go out of their way to make sure Yahoo! has data about their site. It’d probably be a little more difficult to put an “open” marketing spin on a move like that, but if Yahoo! calls me, I might do a little consulting for a reasonable rate.

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About Steve Loszewski

Steve Loszewski leads the paid search team at Pure Visibility. He is individually qualified in AdWords, has the Google Analytics Individual Qualification, is an Oracle Database 10g Administrator Certified Associate, and is a Sun Certified Programmer for the Java Platform SE 6. Steve has been managing AdWords accounts since 2005 and also has experience in SEO. Most of his time is spent in the trenches, working with keywords, ads, bids, landing pages, placements, etc within the AdWords Interface. You can find him on Google+.

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