Yahoo And Human Knowledge

    November 17, 2005

WebProNews’ publisher, Rich Ord, continued his PubCon crawl by attending the Search Engine Smackdown session. The session included a bit of smack talk but was more informative than anything else. One speaker, Tim Mayer of Yahoo provided a glimpse into the mind of Yahoo search for today and the future.

Following Microsoft in a discussion isn’t always easy but Mayer seemed up to the task. He began with a few wise cracks after looking a bit unsure since MSN folks had focused on overtaking Google. Mayer remained cool and started with the strongest point, Yahoo’s vision.

He said Yahoo’s vision “is to find, use, share and expand all human knowledge.” This is straight forward and certainly not the same as Google’s “indexing all the world’s information.” Yahoo’s vision is a little more “user-friendly” with words like share, which, in some ways reflects Yahoo’s service. Not that Google’s bad, it’s just that Yahoo has been much more personal in their overall service offerings.

He gave some tips when trying to improve your lot in the search engine life. He said:

Link new URLs from existing pages in the index

Make sure all URLs have an inbound link

Good authoritative links into site to encourage deep crawls

Unique content

Page specific meta tags

Change the meta content when you change visible content

He mentioned that Slurp was their main spider. But he also included Yahoo Seeker, the MMCrawler: 3x and their audio search engine as well. This led into the search mission for Yahoo: Provide the world’s most valued and trusted search experience for users, publishers and advertisers.

He wrapped up his comments with My Web 2.0. He said it gives you a quick idea about what people think is going on. “We think that it’s going to be a great form of proactive search moving forward.”

It’s designed to give users a more subjective search experience. This is the Yahoo experiment into using user behavior to classify/quantify relevance. It’s leveraging the community search patterns to provide more relevant results.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.