Volume III, Issue VIII

Do You (Think You) Yahoo? In case you haven't noticed it, Yahoo has begun to commercialize its Search Engine by selling the top spots of its search results, based on keywords submitted. To do this, Yahoo has subtly altered how it offers up returns to searches.

Columns From: 8/2/2002 Modern Machine Shop, ,

Do You (Think You) Yahoo?

In case you haven't noticed it, Yahoo has begun to commercialize its Search Engine by selling the top spots of its search results, based on keywords submitted. To do this, Yahoo has subtly altered how it offers up returns to searches. That's no big deal; everyone has the right to earn a buck.

But Yahoo has changed its model in ways that can keep us from the information we're looking for. Or, when it comes to your company's Web site, these "adjustments" can prevent prospects from finding you. These are qualities that contradict those that made Yahoo great in the first place.

And that is a big deal.

To get a view of this, visit www.yahoo.com and perform a search on the term "EDM." Your "Search Results" page will show "sponsor matches" followed by "Web Site Matches." Everything seems to follow the tried-and-true model of most search engines: "Sponsors at the top, search results below."

OK, so far, so good.

But what we don't hear from Yahoo is that most of those "Web Site Matches" are paid-for positions that may not serve the intent of your search at all. Worse, to get to the actual search results (powered by Google), you must select the cryptic "Web Pages" link at the top of the "Search Results" page.

Can anyone adequately explain the difference between Web Sites and Web Pages that requires separate lists?

In many cases, Yahoo's model doesn't just place paid-for positions ahead of the information we need; it often hides what we're looking for behind them. This makes it difficult to find what brought us there in the first place—while serving up advertisers as though they are the sole information sources.

Now, let me say this again: Everyone has the right to make a buck.

The issue here is that we just never expected this tactic from the folks that defined "Search" in the first place.

Job Shop Site Of The Month

MicroGroup (www.microgroup.com) is a bit of a hybrid manufacturer—part custom parts manufacturer, part tool builder, part materials supplier. Normally, a Web site trying to bite off that much would fail, but MicroGroup's site pulls it off. The site partitions its business groups very well and explains the unique competencies in each area. Check out its robust RFQ mechanism. (It is called "Rapid Routing Request," and it's available throughout the site.) This site is simply organized, built to encourage communication and easy to use.

To have your site considered for Job Shop Site Of The Month, send your URL to otw@mmsonline.com.

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