In my review of today’s SEO and search engine headlines I came across a few posts of interest that I would like to share with you:

  • Barry Schwartz at The Search Engine Roundtable wrote that Yahoo removed directory shortcuts found under its search engine result pages (SERPs).I checked this myself from Canada to see if it was a regional alteration but no dice; Canada has been affected as well. I have mixed feelings about this change. On one hand, the link to a directory listing was a great indicator that a website was ‘verified’ by Yahoo staff since human review is required for directory inclusion. In essence that made the directory link in results an added incentive to pay the price of directory inclusion. On the other hand, removing the directory link has saved 10 lines of valuable screen property on every Yahoo result page. I am unsure what Yahoo will do with this free space but considering their lust for profits (see Yahoo reinvents paid inclusion) I wonder if some additional advertising or another form of profit generation might be forthcoming. If this newly freed space is to be used I just hope it is done creatively. Also, Barry Schwartz noted this may be a step towards folding the Yahoo Directory. This may very well be true, it would certainly explain the result alteration. That said, I hope Yahoo’s Directory sticks around because at this point it is the only directory that has any real validity these days. After all, DMOZ (the Open Directory Project) is a complete mess and I don’t honestly know of any other directory other than DMOZ and Yahoo that has any reasonable clout. To put it simply, Yahoo would be foolish to drop their Directory but they do need to reinvent it. I think they should intertwine social media with their directory to give it some freshness and potential energy. Thinking off the cuff… Yahoo could offer directory listing owners the opportunity to make their listings more robust and they could provide a listing of the most recent articles associated with a company listing. Heck another option that comes to mind is a social media tagging system where any site that met a confidential threshold would get a free review and ultimately a free or discounted listing in the directory. The key is to get the big players in the directory again and make it more attractive and interactive. Personally I could spend ages brainstorming this, it would be a blast… unfortunately it is up to Yahoo to make it work.As a final note, I was horrified when I could not find a single link to the Yahoo Directory on Yahoo!’s home page. I guess it is true… the directory is being put on the backburner. Does anyone have any sure insight on this topic?
  • According to Search Engine Land, Google has been caught testing new navigation formats. From the screenshots on Search Engine Land and the adjoining articles it seems Google is attempting to find the right way to include more personalized navigational elements such as Google Calendar, email, etc. into their main navigation. I look forward to seeing the result. I for one, would be very happy to see a quick access link to my Google Calendar or GMail.
  • Are you still a little fuzzy on social media networking and what affect it has on the web? If so, I expect this review of Digg, one of the more significant social media websites, will provide you with a great introduction.
by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth SEO Services
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