Posted April 24, 2008 4:55 pm by with 9 comments

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yahoo searchmonkey logoBack in February, Yahoo announced SearchMonkey, a project that would allow site owners and developers to customize their search engine listings’ appearance and information. If you’ve been waiting with bated breath for the release of this new tool, good news: today’s the day (for a limited release, anyway). The full release will be May 15th.

SearchMonkey creates customized listings for categories of pages on your site: e.g. all your product pages, all your profile pages, etc. Their original example looked at the difference between a plain Yelp listing in Yahoo results:

plain yelp listing in yahoo results

And a SearchMonkey-enhanced listing:
searchmonkey enhanced yelp listing in yahoo results

Alternatively, you can add an infobar at the bottom of your listing:
searchmonkey enhanced movie listing with infobar

Vanessa Fox at Search Engine Land and Mark Hendrickson at TechCrunch offer good instructions on how to set up custom listings with SearchMonkey. While it does require a little technical knowledge, SearchMonkey uses semantic web indexing on your site to make it a bit easier on you—no APIs required to import information (such as addresses and ratings, as seen on the Yelp example above) from your site to the Yahoo SERP.

However, this is not quite as cool as it seems on first glance. The enhanced listings are available to users in search results on an opt-in basis, meaning that users won’t see the enhanced listings if they don’t want to (which is good for users, of course) or if they don’t really trust Yahoo or your site. Some larger sites or Yahoo partner sites may have a default opt out instead, but as things have been explained thus far, there won’t be a revolution unless users want it. And do they?

You can apply to Yahoo’s developer program for access to SearchMonkey now or wait for the full roll out next month.

  • PS3

    I hesitate to say it but are Yahoo getting their act together. Definitely somethign I will be looking to use.

  • Totally agree with you PS3… I’m almost in awe on all the new developments they have been rolling out. This is great for users and site owners all together. I definitely will be trying this out!

    Paul Baranda’s last blog post..Bond No. 9 and Swarovski Team Up In Time For Mother’s Day

  • Nice – from what it looks like, that could be a pretty nifty tool for business/site owners. Definitely something that would be dumb to ignore. Thanks for the update

  • Finally something to look forward to from Yahoo after such a lot of depressing news. Can give the big G a run for its money!

    Nicole’s last blog post..Wanna Buy Computer Accessories and Peripherals

  • You’d think their IP team would have made them pick a name less confusingly similar to Grease Monkey.

    Don Draper’s last blog post..TechCrunch Can’t Do Math

  • I’m excited. I’ve been really disappointed with the results I get on Yahoo! searches lately, but this could definitely make up for it.

  • Seems Yahoo make many improvement recently…I think it will be great.

  • Will wait public release.

    Elections guy’s last blog post..Polls before Pennsylvania primary: Obama most popular

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