As you know, Inktomi was acquired in December 2002 by Yahoo! and I have been waiting for Inktomi to be included in the Yahoo! search results. Recently, and quietly, the acquisition was finalized. It was expected to be finalized within 90 days of the buy-out.
Just as Yahoo! began testing with the change-over to Google last October, they started testing a new search criteria over the weekend. I noticed the change on Saturday afternoon, and the testing would last for about 90 minutes, and then the Google results were back.
This occurred throughout the weekend. Oddly, the search engine forums have been relatively quiet on this subject, and frankly, I’d like to keep it this way. The new search criteria will be based on four factors:
1. Yahoo! Directory inclusion (boost given for a Yahoo! directory submission)
2. Pure Inktomi Search Results
3. ODP results (Google Directory)
4. Overture account
Now, they may tinker with the criteria more, but this was consistent to what I saw over the weekend. Domains that had a Top Ten listing in Inktomi and the ODP but did not have a Yahoo! directory submission were listed AFTER sites that did have a Yahoo! listing.
But I saw some major inconsistencies in the results, that many sites were ranking ahead of sites that had better overall rankings in the ODP and Inktomi. After much study, it was determined that every site that ranked higher had an Overture account – the others did not.
Since Yahoo! is reportedly getting a 70% cut of the Overture advertising spent at Yahoo!, this makes sense for their revenue model.
What You Should Do Right Now
- If your site is NOT included in Yahoo!, get it submitted ASAP. Not sure if you are in Yahoo!? To find out is simple, just type in your domain name into the search box (i.e. “yourdomain.com”) and if there is a red arrow pointing to “More Sites About”, your site is listed in Yahoo!. If not, your site is listed in Google’s index, not in the Yahoo! directory.
- Register your main pages in the Inktomi index. The best place to register is Position Tech. Inktomi charges per page annually. Inktomi powers many search engines, but to check your listings, we suggest Inktomi Pure Search.
- If you aren’t in the Open Directory Project it’s going to take you a few months to get your site reviewed as they are very, very behind.
- Make sure you have an Overture account. Overture has never helped a site rank better in the non-paid listings, until now.
This change is huge, as it suddenly takes Google out as the “Goliath” on the web and puts Yahoo! back on the map. MSN is now a serious contender for the top spot. Google’s primary reach has been reduced by at least 30% with this change.