Move allows site owners to influence their presence in Yahoo's search results.
In a move that could allow marketers to influence their presence on its search results pages, Yahoo has launched a program allowing site owners to build plug-ins for Yahoo Search.
Under the open search platform, users who enable a Yahoo Search plug-in created by a publisher will see enhanced listings when the publisher's site is returned on a Yahoo search results page. The plug-ins are intended to expose structured information, and provide more deep links into a site, for instance to images or reviews.
"The experience is dramatically different, and very useful to searchers," said Amit Kumar, director of product management for Yahoo Search.
One of the first publishers to publish a plug-in will be local content site Yelp. Searchers who have enabled the Yelp plug-in will see an enhanced result when Yelp shows up in search results. Instead of the typical title and description, the result will appear more like a Yahoo Shortcut, Google Onebox, or Ask Smart Answer. It will include links to Yelp reviews, photos, ratings, and contact info for the business.
Other publishers to offer plug-ins at launch later this year will include LinkedIn, BabyCenter, and the CondeNet network of sites, including Epicurious, Concierge.com and Style.com. Yahoo intends to collect many of the plug-ins on its site in a "publishers' gallery" for users to enable, and may even automatically enable some of the more popular plug-ins, Kumar said.
Yahoo will not feature or promote plug-ins that include advertising, or that are not relevant to users. And publishers will never be able to pay for placement in the gallery or other promotion by Yahoo. "This is not a paid relationship; it's all about relevance," Kumar said.
Yahoo will provide publishers with tools to create the plug-ins, which are expected to go live within the next few months.
Users will be able to enable and disable any plug-in directly from the enhanced result. They will also be able to forward the plug-in to their Yahoo contacts, or enter e-mail addresses of contacts to share with. Yahoo will also assist publishers with graphics to help promote the plug-in from their site.
Use of the plug-in will not affect the order of the search results. If a result would have appeared in the third position without the plug-in, the enhanced result will appear in that same position.
This is the latest move in Yahoo's "big bets" strategy, which rests on improving openness, becoming the "partner of choice" for its various constituencies, and providing insights to partners, Kumar said. In this case, the partners are site owners.
Since Yahoo founder Jerry Yang took the reins at Yahoo last summer, he has spoken of developing Yahoo as a set of platforms. The most recent example is Yahoo Buzz, a social news site launched in beta today. Yahoo Buzz combines consumer votes and search patterns with editorial judgment to bring buzz-worthy stories from publishers large and small to Yahoo's front page. In its beta phase, Yahoo Buzz includes content from nearly 100 publishers, ranging from large online publishers to influential niche blogs. Yahoo expects to eventually open up Yahoo Buzz to all publishers interested in having their content included.
On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!
Kevin Newcomb joined ClickZ in August 2004, covering search marketing and other online marketing topics. He has been reporting on web-based businesses since 2000.
Before the bubble burst, Kevin was a marketing manager for an online computer reseller, handling copywriting, e-mail marketing, search marketing and running the affiliate program.
With a combination of real-world marketing experience and years of business journalism, Kevin brings to ClickZ a unique ability to deliver news and training materials that help online marketers do their jobs better.
Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.
Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.
June 10, 2015
12:00pm ET/9:00am PT