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Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

Yahoo! Launches Yahoo! Food

Today Yahoo! announced the launch of Yahoo! Food, a site focused entirely on content from foodies and other culinary household names. In my opinion Yahoo! Food is a smart move and I look forward to seeing how it affects Yahoo!’s bottom line. After all, I don’t know about you but I know many people watch the Food network on a daily basis (including me) and I expect that a site run by Yahoo will offer yet another great resource for foodies.

When Deanna Brown, General Manager of Yahoo!’s Lifestyles was asked on MarketWatch how Yahoo! Food will compete against other food resources like the Food Network and Bon Appetit she had this to say,”I think it is the ease of use and the compelling design, kind of the comprehensive all in one destination.” She finishes by emphasizing the personalization that Yahoo! Food allows; (the site becomes) “your property… and keeps you in touch with what you are looking for.” – source MarketWatch blog.

Finally consider the marketing benefits of business owners who need to promote their cooking wares or resources (books, online directories, etc.); this addition to the Yahoo! Search Marketing network will prove a tasty one indeed.

Kudos to Yahoo, they are definitely trying hard to increase their bottom line. After announcing their 3rd quarter financial results on October 17th, Yahoo! definitely needs all the help they can get.

Called a “weather update” by the Yahoo search team, a round of search engine ranking tweaks have been added today according to this blog post. I am looking forward to seeing how this new set of updates pans out. There does not appear to be a concensus at WebmasterWorld regarding this update; some have noticed changes and some have not. As a result, keeping in line with Yahoo!’s lingo; StepForth’s doppler radar does not forecast a huge storm (aka, it doesn’t appear to be a huge shakeup ;-)

In addition to this update Yahoo! announced that it is now formally supporting the NOODP tag:

<meta name=”ROBOTS” content=”NOODP”> or
<meta name=”Slurp” content=”NOODP”>

Google implemented the NOODP tag around July 14th of this year. For those of you unfamiliar with this tag it is designed to tell the search engines NOT to use the description that you have in your Open Directory Project (ODP) listing. This tag was an extremely welcome addition for webmasters because search engines were using the often out of date and poorly written descriptions from the ODP as the default for associated organic results. Finally, with the implementation of this weather update Yahoo has enabled site owners to prevent the use of their ODP description.

I just have a second for a quick tip but this is a good one for those of you new to link building. If you have ever done a backlink search on a competitor to find out where they have their links from you often find that a large majority of the links are from their own site. It can be a real pain separating the wheat from the chaffe so here is a little trick on Yahoo (the best place to do link building).

Conduct the following search in Yahoo replacing “domain.com” with your competitor’s address:

http://www.domain.com -site:domain.com

The result is a listing of all the sites your competitor has gotten links from minus your competitor’s own pages. This is a handy little tool. Now if you want to do this faster you can always pick up OptiLink – a program that we use religiously when we are conducting link building campaigns. Visit our recommended SEO tools section of the SEO Blog for this one and much more.

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Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Yahoo!'s Site Explorer Gets Tweaked

Last week Yahoo! posted that they had launched a few updates to their Site Explorer tool in response to user feedback.

Here is a list of the updates:

  • Authentication filenames have been reduced to 27 characters in response to users who stated they were far too long.
  • Authentication files are now in HTML format for those who had problems uploading text files. The older text file format is still compatible so no need to change if you already have it setup. They also reminded users that they should not remove the keyfile from their sites because if they do their site will be unauthenticated.

Site Explorer is a great tool for anyone who wants an idea on how well their site is indexed in Yahoo and to find out how many backlinks they have. Here is an article that describes how to use the Yahoo Site Explorer tool.

Yahoo will be introducing the new sponsored search soon and with it Yahoo wants their advertisers to know about a few structural changes about to take place. In their latest monthly edition of “On Target”, Yahoo noted a few key points advertisers should know about.

1. Account upgrades are expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2006. At this time some of the account terminology will be changed.

2. Listings will now be known as ‘Ads’ and will be joined into Ad Groups (not to be confused with Google AdGroups). This will allow for bidding based on the entire group, or by individual keyword.

3. Categories will now be known as ‘Campaigns’ which will consist of one or more ‘Ad Groups’. (This is starting to sound a lot like the AdWords setup.)

Once Yahoo has implemented the new structure all current categories will be moved into campaigns automatically. However it is advised that if you have not already done so ensure your current listings are added into appropriate categories. This is not required, but this extra step may help you with organizing your account after the switch over.

All in all the account upgrades are likely to make life easier and more structured. The one thing I wonder about is why it has taken so long to have them implemented. The changes have been in the works for a while now and it will be nice to see them in place. Hopefully they meet their projected Q4 deadline.

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Friday, October 6th, 2006

Yahoo on the Mobile Web

Yahoo announced this morning their beta launch of sponsored search results on their mobile web service in the US and UK. This will allow Yahoo! Advertisers to reach searchers on their cell phones and other mobile devices.

The beta launch will allow a select group of advertisers to post their sponsored ads to the mobile marketplace. While this service is not yet available to the general business person, it is certainly a step in that direction.

Ads will allow you to direct consumers to either a mobile landing page, courtesy of Yahoo which can display your company info and phone number, or to a mobile site of your own.

Yahoo already has a Mobile Web service available throughout the US and UK with a browser-based service designed specifically for the mobile market. Incorporation of paid ads seems like a natural progression. For more information on Yahoo Mobile visit http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com/mobile

Yahoo! announced today they signed an exclusive deal with HP, the #2 global PC vendor (Gartner statistic), to be the start-up home page for every HP PC sold in Europe and North America. Even better news for Yahoo! is that North American computers will include a co-branded Yahoo! toolbar installed on every machine once the new Internet Explorer 7 is launched by Microsoft.

This news comes after a similar deal was announced between Yahoo! and Acer computers. All-in-all, it appears that Yahoo! has a very clear picture of where it wants to be; in your face as much as possible. Read more…

Today ComScore announced their research findings on the size and growth of local search in the USA.

According to their findings, 63 percent of U.S. Internet users conducted a local search in July. Local searches are considered any form of search for local information such as a local business number, address, or business website. The real kicker, in my opinion, was that Google (30%) and Yahoo! (29%) had nearly the same amount of the local search market.

Here is some more data that you may find interesting:

Share of Local Searches by Site  July 2006  Total U.S. Home, Work and University Locations  Source: comScore qSearch

                                     Total Local Searches  Total Internet Population                 100%  Google Sites                             29.8%  Yahoo! Sites                             29.2%  Microsoft Sites                          12.3%  Time Warner Network                       7.1%  Verizon Communications                    6.6%  YellowPages.com                           3.9%  Ask Network                               2.7%  Local.com                                 1.9%  InfoSpace Network                         1.9%  DexOnline.com                             1.4%  All Other                                 3.2%

I came across this interesting press release announcing the results of a Yahoo!/OMD survey of 4500 online families across 16 countries called: “It’s a Family Affair: the Media Evolution of Global Families in a Digital Age.

If you have the time I recommend reading the entire document but here are some snippets from that I think you will find interesting. Read more…

Want some free coffee courtesy of Yahoo! ? Well I am always looking out for my readers and freebies are a great way to extend the love :-) Read on…

Today Yahoo! released a press release announcing that in addition to launching a massive new media campaign to publish it’s “fun brand” it will be providing free coffee from Dunkin Donuts this Friday, the 22nd.

Just so that I don’t get any details wrong here is the free coffee information direct from the press release:

“As appreciation for the millions of people who start their day with Yahoo!, all users who select Yahoo.com as their start page this Friday, September 22, 2006 will be eligible for a free coffee giveaway from Dunkin’ Donuts. Beginning at midnight ET on Friday morning, visitors to http://www.yahoo.com will be able to access and print a coupon good for one free 16 oz. cup of Dunkin’ Donuts iced coffee. The coupon is valid only on September 22, and may be redeemed from 9 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. local time or close of business at any participating Dunkin’ Donuts retail locations in the U.S. while supplies last.”

So often we are giving to the search engines so it is nice to see a little substance coming back. I hope you get to enjoy a free coffee from Yahoo!