Posted September 26, 2007 2:59 pm by with 6 comments

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Speculation has been flying today about an update at Yahoo. Aaron Wall noticed:

  • botching part of a sitewide 301 redirect that they had followed for months – now both sites rank, but each ranks well for some portion of the queries
  • a bit more weight on domain names

Loren Baker spotted “some sites with high authority domains, in the perception of Yahoo, such as, and all of its keyword heavy definition pages, rising in Yahoo rankings.”

And now Yahoo confirms the rumors:

We’ve rolled out some changes to our index with fresh web data and updates to our crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the last few days. We expect the update will be completed very soon. Throughout this process you may see some changes in ranking as well as some shuffling of the pages in the index.

They also comment on one of the issues Aaron noticed, redirection, but they put a more positive spin (and a shameless plug) on the issue:

This is the first update after the launch of Dynamic URL Rewriting in Site Explorer. We’ve had millions of URLs rewritten based on your submissions and your sites should have seen smarter crawling from Yahoo! Slurp as a result. You will see further benefits in how your site is represented in the index from this update. Your input improves relevance and coverage for users in search results, particularly in relation to your site.

Perhaps Aaron’s affected sites are in the midst of the update. Or the hurricane (since Yahoo always calls their announcements on these updates “weather reports”).

  • I’ve noticed that at first it took at least weeks for my RSS feed to be read. Now It’s read really quickly, so I’m glad to see their advancing in multiple areas the Site Explorer.

  • I did notice certain changes happening in the SERP’s of my site. But not anything major.

  • Surely, yahoo owed it to all of us to warn us in advance rather than explain after they were caught out! In my book, they would have gained a notch up in my rating of them had they done this.

  • Yahoo! isn’t good at updating stuff. I wouldn’t hold my breath on them getting things done right. Yet they’re still number 2 :S

  • I’ve noticed more visits from Slurp since the update, but no major changes in rankings.

    I don’t want to sound negative, but in the past it’s taken them several attempts to get something working. I hope they do though – get it working that is – as I’d really like to gain a bigger market share of search. Hard to let go of your first love I guess :o)

  • Slups has always been a hardworking bot, but I also noticed more visits lately. On the other hand, Yahoo! not retrieves interesting results. Sites with title tag spam are given even more weight than before. Use a particular keyword ten times in your title, this will give a a boost, believe or not. Kind of silly but this is the case.