March 26, 2017

Yahoo! Search to offer an open search platform

Yahoo announced the launch of Yahoo! Search Experience, a 3rd party development platform to enable websites to include more information in Yahoo! search results.This new scheme looks pretty cool and seems to be somewhat of a competing service to Googles Universal Search / Local Search / etc.

Yahoo! Search to offer an open search platform
Yahoo! Search to offer an open search platform

Check out the screenshot on the Y! blog – basically it means your Yahoo! search results could include more features and deep links to your site, including reviews, photos, contact details and price information.

From the Yahoo! blog:

Because the platform is open it gives all Web site owners ” big or small ” an opportunity to present more useful information on the Yahoo! Search page as compared to what is presented on other search engines. Site owners will be able to provide all types of additional information about their site directly to Yahoo! Search. So instead of a simple title, abstract and URL, for the first time users will see rich results that incorporate the massive amount of data buried in websites ” ratings and reviews, images, deep links, and all kinds of other useful data ” directly on the Yahoo! Search results page.

Not only is this an interesting (and pretty clever) move from Yahoo!, it also indicates a shift for the future of search and search engine optimisation.  I love the revised look for the Y! search results – I think this rolled out to the live SERPs would be a great change for Yahoo! and will most likely force the hand of MSN and Google who will need to keep up (although in fairness, Google has led the way in the past with new features like this).

It will take a bold step from any search engine to make the move from old school SERPs to new SERPs – Google have gone some of the way over the past year or two, but having been playing it relatively safe by keeping everything under the beta banner.

More doors opened though, means more ways for people to spam!  I know Google Local do keep a tight control of data that powers local results in listings – but thats just a few big sites providing most of the information, with loads of small sites providing a small proportion of the listings.  By allowing webmasters to dictate so much data that will be reflected in live SERPs, Yahoo! could be setting themselves up for a lot of work to keep a solid level of quality control over the process. 

A lot of work?  Yes, but I do think it is entirely within the realms of any of the big search engines to manage this well – and I also really do think they should do it.  

For SEOs it could make for an interesting future.  More data to play with + more control over SERPs = great for us.  But think about it:  more data on page 1 = less people browsing to page 2 (or even to below the fold on page 1).  Where title tags influence click through rates now, user reviews, contact details and other supplementary information might influence CTR in the future.

Not a bad thing, but certainly may offer a larger challenge for the Internet marketing community.  What do you reckon?

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Scott Boyd
About Scott Boyd 4 Articles
Scott Boyd (aka Marketing Guy) is an Edinburgh based online marketing consultant with over 6 years experience in the industry. He is the founder of SEO agency eFlaunt, where he mixes a blend of traditional marketing and SEO.

Scott's musings relating to the marketing and SEO industries can be found on his blog - Fused Nation.