(Some) Hotels Get Special Yahoo Shortcuts

    August 13, 2007

I’ve stayed in a pretty wide range of hotels; none of them seemed dangerous, but some were definitely less pleasant than others.  Now Yahoo Shortcuts is stepping up its effort to help users find the best possible lodgings.

A search for “Excalibur Hotel,” for example, yields a result just above the number one spot that is marked with a “Yahoo! Shortcut” tag.  The number one result, which is for the same medieval-themed establishment, then has a dropdown menu featuring links to a map, seven photos, and over 600 user reviews (most of which recommend visiting the Excalibur).

Of course, not every hotel will be as popular, and Greg Sterling found that some of them get pretty skimpy Shortcuts.  After giving screenshots to prove his point, Sterling writes, “It would thus appear that Yahoo is experimenting with results to see how users interact with them.”

Internet Marketing Monitor’s Derick Alan did some investigating, and found, “[I]t appears that Yahoo! is looking for these specific criteria before adding a drop-down menu to the results: The hotel must have it’s own URL . . . .  It must have reviews on Yahoo! Local . . . .  It must have more than one picture on Yahoo! Local . . . .  And once these criteria are met, only the first result to be listed gets the special treatment.”

Assuming that this isn’t the final setting for Shortcuts, the company hasn’t announced what’s in store.  And even if these spotty Yahoo Shortcuts do represent a finished product, they’re a nice feature.