What Yahoo SearchMonkey Means for Small Business Websites

by on May 16, 2008 · 3 comments

Yahoo! Search Monkey badgeI attended the Yahoo SearchMonkey launch event last night at in the Yahoo URL cafe. I want to provide a quick take on what I saw there, and how it relates to a small business owner who has a website.

SearchMonkey allows developers and site owners to use structured data to make Yahoo search results more useful and visually appealing, and drive more relevant traffic to their sites.

Judging by the screens and demos they showed, these enhanced search results  seem like a great opportunity for a business to “stand out” from the competition.

Here is a sample enhanced search result:

SearchMonkey results: before and after

SearchMonkey provides a developer tool to create “applications” that display these enhanced search results.

The problem is, users will not see these enhanced search results unless they “install” the application. So for example, I would not see the attached enhanced Yelp search result unless I installed the Yelp application. An “install”  means turning it on in my Yahoo profile, not an actual program installed on your computer.

Yahoo hinted that they they might turn on some “applications” by default, for example Yahoo Local. This means that small businesses listed in Yahoo Local might produce enhanced search results, for example including a map or other information about your business.

Recommendation for Small Business Websites:

1) Get your business listed in Yahoo Local. That way, if Yahoo decides to include a Yahoo Local SearchMonkey app as a default, your business will show up with enhanced results if you are listed in Yahoo Local with a complete profile.

2) SearchMonkey looks for special data inside websites, based on a standard called microformats. Your website should include this data so it is available to Yahoo as they crawl and index your site. This way your business information is available to any developers who build SearchMonkey apps, and you will show up with enhanced results as this gets adopted over time.

Expand2Web will be embedding the RDF and microformats information in all the Online Business Cards we create for our customers, so #1 and #2 will be taken care of automatically for you.

If you attended the event – drop me an email or comment so we can compare notes. If you weren’t able to attend, here are some Flickr photos of the event!

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Web Design Glasgow May 16, 2008 at 10:23 am

It’s interesting – i wonder if users want a longer search results page with more information, or if they prefer a simple list at first. I imagine that the presented example would be prefered. In a search for ‘web design company’, it might be useful to list thumbnails from their portfolios. But at what point does it become too much I wonder.

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Don Campbell May 16, 2008 at 11:21 am

Great point @Iain – according to the Yahoo folks I talked to last night, this is exactly why they are not turning all apps on by default. They are afraid of the results getting too cluttered.

As it stands, users will not see these enhanced results unless they install a SearchMonkey app for a particular business. If Yahoo later turns on certain apps by default (e.g. Yahoo Local) they will allow users to turn of specific apps or all apps if they do not want the enhanced results.

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Modern Day Peasants December 28, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Hi,
Just Stumbled your post. I had no idea SearchMonkey even existed but I do now. Thanks for posting it.

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