Yahoo is Shutting Down Delicious, MyBlogLog and Other Sites

Yahoo is shutting down the popular social bookmarking website Delicious (del.icio.us) and the blog networking service MyBlogLog among other sites so they can focus on their core services, which is apparently display advertising. Yahoo has already abandoned their efforts in search and search advertising since now both the organic search results and the pay per click ads beside the SERPs are powered by Bing. They also shut down Geocities earlier this year, essentially wasting millions or billions of dollars in potential revenue since they simply shut it down and served up 404 errors.

I don’t understand why Yahoo and other companies buy popular websites only to neglect them and shut them down completely. I understand businesses need to cut their losses on unprofitable services, but I can’t be the only one who thinks paying millions of dollars for websites only to shut them down a couple years later makes absolutely zero sense at all. Why don’t they just sell them? Considering Delicious is still one of the top 300 websites in the entire world, they would be sure to find a buyer willing to pay at least SOMETHING. If they can’t find a buyer, at least redirect the old sites to relevant new sites to preserve the years of link equity and search engine rankings.

The only service Yahoo is good at anymore is Fantasy Sports. I’ve used ESPN, CBS Sportsline and SI.com for various fantasy leagues throughout the years and Yahoo is so much better than any of them. However, knowing Yahoo, they’ll neglect fantasy sports eventually and shut them down as well. Ugh.

Yahoo is dying. And my prediction is that Yahoo will either be completely out of business or acquired by another company within 2 years.

Yahoo! Cache Date

It would really be helpful if Yahoo! included a date for cached pages in its index, like Google and Bing do. Is that too much to ask? The official Yahoo explanation mentions nothing about a cache date, but merely a “snapshot” in case the original one was somehow unavailable. http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/search/basics/basics-09.html. Oh well, it won’t be long before Bing takes over Yahoo. And so we wait.

Yahoo SERPs Using Anchor Text for Title Tags

It looks like Yahoo! is using anchor text from the first link found on the page in place of the designated TITLE tag. I just noticed it today on two separate sites so I am not sure how long it has been going on and whether or not it will be a permanent change.  At first I thought it might be pulling the TITLE from a Yahoo! Directory listing or DMOZ listing, but neither site is listed in either directory. So I dug a little deeper and realized it was the anchor text of the first link on the page pointed back to that page.

Not sure if I am explaining this clearly or not so here’s an example. Let’s make up a fake site about dogs called DoggyExampleSite.com.

The keywords you want to target are “dogs for sale” so you put it in the TITLE tag.

<TITLE>Dogs for Sale | Doggy Example Site</TITLE>

The first link found in the source code of the page is a link to DoggyExampleSite.com with the anchor text “Doggy Example Site.”

Let’s say your site has come up number 1 on Yahoo! for years for the keyword “dogs for sale.” When somebody searched for it, your site would come up first with the “Dogs for Sale | Doggy Example Site” as the title in the SERPs and everybody was happy.

But if today’s findings are going to be permanent, your site would now display “Doggy Example Site” as the title in the SERPs instead of your desired keywords. It’s yet to be determined if the actual ranking of the site will drop, but I imagine that the CTR would decrease as the searcher may opt to click through to the 2nd result that might have “Dogs for sale” in their title.

So basically this could become a problem when it comes to SEO for Yahoo! I will definitely keep my eye on it in the next few weeks.