Yahoo’s exit in search begun with the Bing-Yahoo search alliance. Shortly afterwards, webmasters focusing on both Bing SEO and Yahoo SEO in
the US and Canada were advised to use Bing’s Webmaster Tools.
Yahoo Site Explorer’s Closure
With the completion of algorithmic transition to Bing, Yahoo! Search has merged Site Explorer into Bing Webmaster Tools. Webmasters should now be using the Bing Webmaster Tools to ensure that their websites continue to get high quality organic search traffic from Bing and Yahoo!. Site Explorer services will not be available from November 21, 2011.
Bing’s Search Algorithm Integration into Yahoo
While integrating Bing’s search algorithm to replace Yahoo’s search algorithm, Yahoo had to overcome the technical issues below:
We had to cutover web, image and video search experiences from Yahoo!’s search technology backend to Bing’s algorithmic backend for 40-plus markets, across desktop and mobile devices.
In addition to Yahoo’s owned and operated search experiences, we also had to cut over hundreds of our syndication partners in more than 50 markets, while ensuring a smooth transition for users of our wildly popular Yahoo! Search BOSS service.
Cutting over to the Bing backend was not simply a matter of technical integration through the Bing API. We worked with Microsoft to ensure that Bing’s algorithmic quality in each of these markets was on par or better than Yahoo!’s quality. Wherever we found quality gaps, we worked collaboratively with our counterparts at Bing to provide data driven assessments of quality gaps to help us close the gaps quickly. Only when both teams had established that the quality bar in a market was met, did we green light the cutover.
A very important design principle was to ensure availability of all key user experience elements of the Yahoo! search experience post-cutover. This meant that we had to perform a comprehensive analysis of product features per market, assess which of those would require support from the Bing platform, and which features Yahoo! would have to continue to develop and invest in.
Creating a migration path to Bing Webmaster tools for users of Yahoo! Site Explorer, while continuing to support Site Explorer for international users during the transition period proved challenging.
We had to confirm Bing could handle Yahoo’s capacity across multiple global datacenters, including new ones that were brought online to serve the needs of the Search Alliance. The fact that all the cutovers went remarkably smoothly and were essentially non-events from an operational perspective is a testament to the thorough job both teams did.
For all our major markets, we ran comprehensive bucket tests to compare the Yahoo! search experience going against the Yahoo! and Bing backends. We monitored key user experience metrics to ensure that the product experience post cutover would be on par or better for our customers.
We had to put in place support and customer care processes that ensured user concerns and content issues were handled appropriately between our companies, working through policy differences to ensure the right outcome for all stakeholders.
While Yahoo Site Explorer has been shut down, Yahoo’s spider, Slurp, will still be crawling websites when required.
Although the organic results will be powered by Microsoft Search platforms, Yahoo! will continue to innovate on the search experience beyond the services delivered by Microsoft. In order to provide Yahoo! users with an amazing search experience, our slurp crawlers may continue to selectively crawl websites to help support these efforts.
Webmaster Tools, SEO Reports from Google, Blekko, Yandex
- Google Webmaster Tools – Google offers you great amount of information about your site, including reports on search queries.
- Blekko’s SEO Reports – Blekko is a new search engine on a much smaller scale (e.g. smaller index size) that provides SEO reports about your site.
- Yandex Webmaster Tool in English – Yandex, the number one Russian search engine, gives you SEO information about your site, in English.