With market share slowly moving towards competitors, Yahoo! had to pull out the stops and create a buzz. Their solution: Yahoo! Search Direct.
According to Yahoo!’s press release, Search Direct “delivers answers and direct access to websites before you complete a query, hit the search button, or go to a search results page. This search innovation supports Yahoo!’s strategy to fundamentally shift the way people experience the Web – by providing the richest, most integrated content faster and more efficiently.”
As an SEO consultant, I feel it’s my duty to research new technologies and trends, which is why I spent a few hours toying around with Search Direct. While doing so, I uncovered the following:
- Top Sites: The section that displays the top sites for a specific query (according to Yahoo) seems to heavily rely on meta titles. After running 100 searches for a variety of keyword sets, I noticed that 3 results are always shown and each result has a meta title that closely resembles the search query. This happens over 85% of the time.
- Local Listings: Having a local business listing on Yahoo! helps tremendously. If a business appears in the Top Sites section and has a local business listing, a map, address, and phone number will be shown.
- Manual Input: It seems as if certain topics/categories have been manually input. For example, when I search for “hotels Los Angeles” I’m presented with 3 listings under the Top Sites. However, when I search for “law firm Los Angeles” there are “no suggestions available.” I think Yahoo! is categorizing content on the back-end and has manually input certain categories, with more to come.
My initial observation is that meta titles lead the way. Make sure your website targets the absolute most important keywords in the meta title and you build quality backlinks with such keywords as the anchor text. I’m testing this strategy for a few clients and I’m confident it will create a listing in the Top Sites area. We shall see.
Check out Yahoo!’s video on Direct Search below. Pretty interesting.
The Brainchild Group
Aaron Schoenberger is Founder of The Brainchild Group — a forward-thinking Internet marketing agency that specializes in Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). He’s known for his work with celebrities, top restaurants, automotive manufacturers, professional athletes, educational institutions, luxury brands and Fortune 500 companies.