On February 18th, Yahoo launched its new search engine, Yahoo Search, and replaced Google as search engine results provider. This will have immediate impact on search engine rankings and traffic as the main search engines’ marketshare is anticipated to change dramatically:
A day earlier, Google officially announced that it had reached an important milestone with immediate access to more than 6 billion items, including 4.28 billion web pages, 880 million images, 845 million Usenet messages, and a growing collection of book-related information pages.
Yahoo replaces Google as search provider
The impact of Yahoo replacing Google as search engine provider can be enormous on anyone’s web traffic. Until now, Google boasted market share of around 79% which included 16% through the AOL partnership and 28% through Google’s agreement to provide search results at Yahoo’s portal. Not anymore!
Yahoo, on the other hand, through its Inktomi subsidiary, has been providing search results to MSN. In addition, Yahoo through its Overture subsidiary owns AltaVista and AllTheWeb. The switch from Google-provided search results to Yahoo’s own search results at Yahoo Search implies a major shift in search engine market share — from 28% to 51% for all Yahoo search properties and partnerships.
While nobody argues the dominance of Google as the top search engine, now that Yahoo provides its own search results, it is only logical to anticipate that Google’s position will be diminished. This leaves Yahoo and Google as the two main search engine providers, leaving Ask Jeeves (and its Teoma subsidiary) with 3% marketshare and 2% for all other search engines.
What if you are not included in Yahoo’s index?
Yahoo provides two options to get your web content indexed in its new search engine: by using a free URL submission box available to its registered users (you would need to login to Yahoo to access that feature), or by using Yahoo’s paid inclusion program, Inktomi.
Yahoo claims that submitting a web link via the free URL submission box is considered only “suggestion” and not a guarantee that the page will be added to the index.
The only guaranteed way to have your content included is to use the Inktomi paid inclusion program. The pricing for Inktomi paid inclusion is as follows:
1st URL – $39
URLs 2-1000 – $25 each
Yahoo has not commented on the fate of its other search engines, AltaVista and AllTheWeb, which were acquired through the Overture purchase last year. Currently only the Inktomi inclusion will feed search results into the new Yahoo Search index.
I cannot emphasize enough the importance of having one’s web site submitted to Inktomi. In addition to Yahoo Search, Inktomi provides search results to MSN Search, About.com, and others.
All these changes in the search engine market place should remind us all once again how important it is to monitor and maintain one’s search engine rankings. Should you have any questions about how these events will impact your web site’s search engine rankings or what is the pricing for the WebSage Search Engine Optimization and Maintenance Services, feel free to contact WebSage.
Important update about Inktomi Search Submit:
IMPORTANT NOTICE ABOUT INKTOMI SEARCH SUBMIT:
Yahoo! Search has transitioned to its own search technology and is preparing to launch a new inclusion program.
As a bonus for Search Submit customers, Yahoo! Search is providing a free trial of Yahoo! traffic that will end on April 15, 2004.
When the new inclusion program launches, Search Submit customers will have the option of joining the new program for ongoing participation in Yahoo! Search results.
Important update from Yahoo’s site submission guidelines:
Yahoo! Search crawls the web every 2-4 weeks and automatically finds new content for indexing. If pages already in the Yahoo! Search index link to your site, it will be considered for inclusion in the next update of the index. Getting your site listed in major directory services such as the Yahoo! Directory and DMOZ is an excellent way to be sure that there are links to your site.
Use a “description” meta-tag and write your description accurately and carefully. After the title, the description is the most important draw for users. Make sure the document title and description attract the interest of the user but also fit the content on your site.
Use a “keyword” meta-tag to list key words for the document. Use a distinct list of keywords that relate to the specific page on your site instead of using one broad set of keywords for every page.