Recently I had the privilege to speak with Yahoo Chief Scientist Andrew Tomkins. This interview was a follow up to his keynote presentation at SES NY, where he spoke about the future of search, and Yahoo’s major initiative in that areas. Check the interview out, and add any comments you may have below.
A while back I wrote about how building a search engine using Yahoo! Search Builder can increase the number of pages you have in the Yahoo! index. This notion did not come from me. It came from an interview I did with Tim Mayer back in December 2006.
Recently, we began a little experiment with this notion to see if we could see any impact from doing this. It’s still too early to have data from this test, but we have already noticed one very interesting thing. Take a look at this image:
Notice the source column on the right? On our domain, www.stonetemple.com, the data source is stated as being Search Builder. This does suggest that something has been tweaked regarding the indexing method. While the Stone Temple site is not the one that we are running our Search Builder test on, the above screen shot should provide some additional data regarding the potential for the Search Builder product to influence indexing.
Brett Tabke recently opened up a forum thread on WebmasterWorld titled: Yahoo SERPS vs Google SERPS – If you can’t beat em – join em?. Brett also provides a screen shot comparing the results screens of the two engines.
It’s also interesting to consider the changes made in Panama. I was staring at Yahoo! Search Marketing’s new spreadsheet template and it struck me how similar it has come to the Google AdWords spreadsheet format. For that matter Yahoo is using a very similar algorithm for ranking ads, and this was at the heart of the Panama release.
To be fair, there are still significant distinctions between the two companies. Yahoo! is much more advanced as a publisher of destination sites. One can’t overlook the way they took a solid lead in the Question and Answer space with Yahoo! Answers This is a recent product launch that has done extremely well, and Google recently withdrew from the same space.
But it sure will be interesting to see how this evolves in the search space.
Recently we had the chance to speak with Tim Mayer about Yahoo’s Search Builder product. Search Builder is the vertical search engine offering from Yahoo, that competes with products such as Google Custom Search Engines, Live Search Macros, and Eurekster.
In the discussion, Tim reveals that sites that use Search Builder on their site may well increase the number of pages on their site that get indexed by Yahoo. It amazes me that there has not been more play regarding this point. It seems to me that I see people complaining all the time about the number of pages that they have in search engine indexes.
So here is one quick answer: implement a Search Builder search engine on your site. I would love for someone to try this on a site that has a limited number of pages in the Yahoo index and see if it helps.