Ranking Changes At Yahoo?

Earlier today Aaron Wall noticed some big changes in the usually slow moving Yahoo rankings.

  • 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


I haven’t really been tracking keywords at Yahoo recently so I can’t say with certainty if I’m getting a boost, but Yahoo traffic seems up for me today overall. Nothing statistically significant and not far out of line with other Yahoo spikes I’ve seen. I do seem to be ranking much better for a few phrases I’ve tracked in the past, but since it’s been awhile since I checked last I can’t say if the improved ranking is from any changes today.

Loren Baker has noticed

some sites with high authority domains, in the perception of Yahoo, such as TheFreeDictionary.com, and all of its keyword heavy definition pages, rising in Yahoo rankings. Could such domain be what Aaron is talking about? Or is it keyword heavy domains?

I’m observing a few searches at Yahoo are bringing back a high percentage of keyword rich domains, but again nothing definitive on my part. Just observing some results without anything for comparison.

Barry Schwartz found a few forum threads that started discussing the possible update. The thread at Digital Point is interesting for the screen shots of some rather odd results.

After these early reports Yahoo offered a Weather Report on the Yahoo Search Blog confirming that changes are going on.

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.

It looks like Aaron was on to something as the Weather Report also mention

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.

Again I’m not seeing any major changes with Yahoo traffic here. Is anyone else seeing a noticeable increase in traffic from Yahoo? This might just be the usual up and down that comes with a Weather Report so things may be clearer when the update is complete in a few days. The last Yahoo update was good to me and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed this one is too.

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