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November 27, 2007

Yahoo Structures Search, the Mobile Web & Outsourced Caring

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Yahoo to "Structure" Its Search

Macworld reports that Yahoo is planning to create a "structured search" system that will allow users to search around select terms, rather than get a traditional SERP. Like when you do a product search and you get a list of available retailers and pricing information. The feature will allow users to better "compare results". Not surprisingly, it will first be implemented on product-based searches.

As Barry Schwartz pointed out over at Search Engine Land, we’re already seeing a structured approach from Ask, which pulls structured results from Ask Shopping, and Google, which lets users access dropdown menus when doing searches on things like renting information. It’s nice to see Yahoo is finally joining the party.

I suppose the idea this useful, but it’s neither new nor exciting. Just more of Yahoo playing catch up. Where was this feature when they were crashing during yesterday’s Cyber Monday? I’m tired of all these little incremental changes the engines announce that in the end mean nothing. I want to see something exciting. Someone surprise me before the year is over, okay?

Eh, I won’t hold my breath.

When Will We See The Mobile Web?

I’ve been in this industry two years and seems like experts have been harking that this year, whatever "this year" is, will be the year that the mobile Web takes off. According to the New York Times, however, we still may be some time off. What say you?

If you’re talking about mainstream use, then yes, the mobile Web is clearly some years off. It’s going to be quite a long time before the wireless networks are up to par and before my mother is ready to use her cell phone as a browser. Right now all we’re seeing is the birth of the technology. The networks (I hear) are improving and gosh knows the phones are. Between the iPhone, Yahoo Go, and new Voyager, the phones are becoming easier to use and more browser-like.

This isn’t the year for the mobile Web, neither is next year, but it’s coming. I’m not a big mobile surfer these days, but having just ordered the Verizon Voyager (My dad says I can’t open it until Christmas. Seriously.), I know that will likely change in the next few months.

Have You Outsourced Your Caring?

Heather B. Armstrong relives the trauma she experienced while trying to use the self checkout at her local grocery store (with three year old in tow) to explain the concept of outsourced caring. It’s a problem that’s affecting business and Web sites world-wide. What is it exactly?

"…when a company cannot be bothered anymore with basic service and hires someone else to do the caring for them. It’s why you’re always getting transferred to someone else when you call customer service, because the person who answered the phone doesn’t get paid to care. In this instance they are so fed up with caring that they’ve hired ROBOTS.”

Don’t outsource the caring of your customers to someone else. Design your Web site to meet their needs, not yours. Optimize your Web site to help them. The minute you think you’re too good to deal with the customers is the minute they’ll go somewhere else.

Fun Finds

The greatest post ever offered up by SEOmoz: 50 Perfect Gifts for Webophiles, Bloggers & Internet Marketers. Seriously, I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of Rand and Mystery Guest for putting this together. [Me too. I've been needing those laptop feet! --Susan]

Matt Cutts presents Anatomy of a Search Snippet. Oh yeah, it’s as riveting as it sounds. The word on the street is that this may be an Oscar contender. I’m sorry, I’m kind of snippy today. If you’re more a reader than a watcher, Eric Enge has done a great job explaining the search snippets video.





3 responses to “Yahoo Structures Search, the Mobile Web & Outsourced Caring”

  1. Gyutae Park writes:

    If you hold your breath, you might pass out…

    Good summary post. You’re a funny one.

  2. George writes:

    Very interesting and useful. Just more of Yahoo playing catch.

  3. Dean Collins writes:

    According to M:metrics 23 million americans surfed the mobile web in Q1 this year.

    Not sure how accurate that is but I dont think it’s really all that niche anymore.

    Cheers,
    Dean Collins
    dean.collins@amethon.com



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