Any time this month, Yahoo is expected to announced whether it will stay with Google to provide some of its "fall through" results or shift to another provider. Search engine watchers across the web are looking at some recent changes as a clues to which way Yahoo will go.
In particular, Yahoo last week made a change so that pages listed by Google in the "Web Pages" portion of its results will make use of Yahoo's description, if Yahoo itself knows about the page.
Huh? Take this example. Search for "cars," then jump to the "Web Pages" results. You'll see that Cars.com is listed first, and that these are the results that come from Google. However, rather than having a "snippet" description, the page is described as:
"Features access to automotive classifieds and dealers, price info, news and reports, performance data, and more for new and used cars."
This description comes from where Cars.com is listed within Yahoo's own human-compiled directory. A link has now been made so that any pages listed in the Yahoo directory use the Yahoo directory description, when shown in the Google-provided results.
In addition, if a site resides in Yahoo, then when it appears in the results Google provides, its Yahoo description is shown as the "More sites about" link.
Another recent change is that the Google logo is no longer shown on pages provided by Google. Instead, tiny text appears at the top of the page saying "Search Technology Provided by Google," in place of the logo.
What does all this mean? Personally, I see the changes as signs that Yahoo may stick with Google. The category-to-crawler linkup is a significant alteration to make, and it's not one that you'd expect Yahoo to do, if it were about to dump Google. As for dropping the logo, this may address concerns that some have at Yahoo that showing the logo is building Yahoo's brand at Google's expense.
This will show you a search for "cars" at Yahoo and take you straight to the Google powered results.
Yahoo: Automotive Internet Services Category
Here you can see how Cars.com is listed in the Yahoo human-powered directory and how that directory description is then used in place of the usual Google snippet in the search results for "cars."
Yahoo Replacing Google Title & Descriptions
WebmasterWorld.com, Aug. 23, 2002
Discussion from WebmasterWorld.com on the title and description changes.
"The Search Technology Provided by Google" Logo is gone
WebmasterWorld.com, Sept. 1, 2002
Discussion on the removal of Google's logo.
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