Yahoo Tests Delicious Integration In Search Results
Yahoo has sent word that they are testing integration of data from
their Delicious social bookmarking site within
the Yahoo search results pages. For some users, a search will now show whether a
page listed in Yahoo results is also on Delicious and how it has been tagged. It
brings back memories of Yahoo My Web integration and, before that, how the Yahoo
Directory used to work. More below.
The screenshot above from Yahoo is an
example of this. In a search on
java, you can see under the page description for Java.com how you are also
Don’t see it yourself? I certainly don’t, and Yahoo itself says the
implementation has not been rolled out to everyone. From the heads-up email
Yahoo sent us:
Some users may start to see the del.icio.us icon as part of search results,
which tells them how many people have bookmarked those pages as well as the
tags that people have supplied for those pages.
As you know we constantly run tests to improve the user experience and
overall quality of Yahoo! Search …. keep in mind this is only a test.
We will of course also let you know if we decide to roll this feature out to
Here’s the larger version of the screenshot Yahoo sent, where I’ve
highlighted in red how several results get the Delicious integration:
Is the Delicious data being used as part of the Yahoo ranking algorithm, to
help boost results? Yahoo didn’t say, but I’m following up on that. [NOTE: Yahoo has now confirmed that this is only a display change and that rankings are not altered by Delicious data]. Personally, I doubt it. That could very well come, but Yahoo doesn’t seem to have the infrastructure in place to start doing this — Yahoo My Web,
for example, was never acknowledged to boost results.
The integration itself
is similar to how Yahoo My Web used to
work. Yahoo What Web? Back in June 2005, Yahoo rolled out its own homegrown page bookmarking service called My Web
(homegrown, unlike Delicious and Flickr, which were purchased).
My Web still
exists, but Yahoo pulled way back from it. For a time, you’d get pages tagged on
My Web integrated into search results very similar to how Delicious information
is now being shown. Here’s an example of that:
That integration got
dropped entirely in
One thing you have to wonder, or perhaps feel sad about, is why
the Yahoo Directory now seems to get less
respect than Delicious. No disrespect to Delicious — it’s a great resource, and
I use it myself. But the Yahoo Directory WAS Yahoo — a list of human edited
listings of what’s supposed to be the best in various categories.
Wall pointed out today, you have to hunt to find the damn thing
these days. Yahoo Answers
gets featured on the Yahoo home page, but not the Yahoo Directory. If you do a
search for something like java, results from the directory are nowhere to be
Consider this evolution of Yahoo over time. A search for
shoes in 1999, with the
directory dominating the results:
By 2002, directory links had been shortened, but they were still at the top of the page:
By 2004, the
directory section was gone, but at least a site listed in the Yahoo Directory
and showing up in web search results got a "Category" line under its listing:
Now in 2008, you have to ask what the purpose of the Yahoo Directory is to Yahoo other than apparently an easy way to get site owners chasing links to
pay $299 per year. Harsh?
As I’ve covered, it’s not like actual searchers can easily find the directory.
At this point, you have to wonder if there are more site owners and SEOs that
know it exist than searchers. Either show that directory some love or kill the
thing off as part of the overall
Yahoo Podcasts) that’s been going on.
very least, killing the Yahoo Directory will save me and others from
having to explain
why while Google says
don’t buy links,
it is still OK and even
recommended to buy links from Yahoo because of the apparent human
oversight that the directory provides.
Perhaps editorial oversight isn’t the
only requirement Google should have, when considering what’s a "good" paid link.
Perhaps visibility of the directory is also important. If you’re selling links
from a part of your site that’s largely hidden away from the majority of your
users, maybe that link — regardless of all the editorial review — shouldn’t
get counted any longer.
For more on the Delicious rollout, see