Yahoo Site Explorer Shuts Down, Replaced by Bing Webmaster Tools

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

Now Yahoo Site Explorer is officially shut down after Bing’s search algorithm has started to power all global Yahoo organic search results, except Yahoo Korea.

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.

Yahoo’s Slurp

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

Comments

3 Responses to “Yahoo Site Explorer Shuts Down, Replaced by Bing Webmaster Tools”

  1. Tony Lopes on November 23rd, 2011 8:59 am

    Hey Gordon

    I’m looking at using Majestic SEO (not free) and am experimenting with Blekko’s Firefox toolbar as a replacement for YSE – any other ideas?

  2. Sagive SEO on November 26th, 2011 12:46 pm

    I think Majestic SEO and OpenSiteExplorer are the best chances… tried seo spy glasses but i cant test those in my region without buying so i gave that up..

  3. Rajasthan on December 23rd, 2011 5:59 pm

    After permanent closure of yahoo search explorer I don’t think there is any other tool in such a great accuracy available to find out the backlinks of the website in detail. Hope Yahoo search explorer will be re-activated soon.

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