Yahoo Yelps at new search content from Local and LinkedIn

    August 1, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

They aren’t monkeying around at Yahoo Search, but they are SearchMonkeying with more universal content in the search results.

No need to visit Yahoo’s Search Gallery to find Apps for Yelp, LinkedIn, or Yahoo Local for your search experience. Those SearchMonkey Apps switched on last night for a full-time presence, when relevant, in Yahoo Search.

The Yahoo Search blog cracked open the shell around the process of picking which Apps to add as a regular piece of the universal search results:

Before making an application “default on” we require a few things – access to the site’s structured data through semantic markup or a data feed, a well-designed and broadly useful application and positive user metrics.  To understand how a SearchMonkey app affects user metrics, we generally expose a small percentage of our users to a default-on experience and measure if and how it changes their usage.  We started with Yelp, LinkedIn and Yahoo! Local because they were among our first partners to share structured data.  Our tests uncovered that users found these apps useful – in fact, in some cases, we saw a lift in click-through rate of as high as 15 percent.

Click-throughs serve as a sign of approval of the results people see. Without that response, an App has a snowball’s chance in a blast furnace of making the cut. Of course there was little chance Local or Yelp, owned by Yahoo, wouldn’t share that data.

But anything that makes a pretty good search more relevant should mean happier users and improved perception of advertising appearing in the results pages. In what’s shaping up to be a brutal day for Yahoo’s executive management at today’s annual shareholder meeting, this will be a little bright spot under the Sunnyvale sunshine.

Expect more content added to Yahoo Search from the Apps Gallery in the future. We hope they don’t get too carried away with that, because crowding out all the organic search results may not go over well with the audience.