Yahoo Directory Shutting Down
Yahoo has announced that the venerable Yahoo Directory is to be shut down on New Year’s Eve after running for almost 20 years. The Directory used to be the most popular search resource on the web before Google came along to take the crown, and many will be sad to see it go – especially with the lack of fanfare the company’s made, announcing simply, “While we are still committed to connecting users with the information they’re passionate about, our business has evolved and at the end of 2014 (December 31), we will retire the Yahoo Directory.” Yahoo promised that advertisers will be upgraded to a new service, with details to come.
Google Releases Panda 4.1
Google is rolling out version 4.1 of its Panda update, further refining search algorithms to help weed out sites with thin content. Early reports have shown that games, lyrics and medical content sites have already seen ranking drops in the wake of the update. Marcus Tober of SearchMetrics explained: “The 4.1 iteration of Panda ties in with the preceding updates. Losers are often games or lyrics portals as well as websites dealing with medical issues and content – to cut it short (here I am repeating myself): in general, it hit pages with thin content. Aggregators do not provide unique and relevant content.”
49% of UK Consumers Use Organic Search to Find Online Retailers
A new study into the online and offline shopping habits of UK consumers has thrown up some unexpected results. For example, 49% of consumers use organic search to find retailers, but only 35% of retailers believed customers to do so. Even more dramatically, 60% of consumers thought online shopping was a more personal experience, while only 13% of retailers thought so, and only 2% of retailers thought online personalization was important, compared to 34% of consumers. The lesson overall seems to be that consumers are using more online tools than retailers think, and care more about their online shopping experience than they think.