In October 2002, the Yahoo portal changed the way it delivers search results.

In the past, the most prominent results were exclusively culled from websites listed in the Yahoo directory itself. Since October, sites listed in the Yahoo directory no longer enjoy this privileged status.

The Google search engine now drives the primary search results on Yahoo. While this is certainly an improvement for users of Yahoo search, it's a disaster for many businesses that counted on their Yahoo listing to deliver substantial traffic.

This change has also led many site owners to question the value of a listing in the Yahoo directory. Let's look at the pros and cons of maintaining, or paying for, a Yahoo listing.

Argument #1: Yahoo Listings Mean Link Popularity

Pro: Even if the Yahoo listing itself delivers little or no traffic, other search engines will rank your website higher if it's listed in Yahoo. Because Yahoo is so important, a link from Yahoo counts more than a regular link. Thanks to its higher "PageRank," Yahoo means even more to Google.

Con: Yahoo listings do not deliver nearly as significant a contribution in this area as you might think. You can verify this by doing a "backward links" search on Google for any Yahoo-listed website. The most important links are listed first, and the Yahoo listing is rarely even on the first page of links for top ranked sites on Google.

Argument #2: Listed Sites Look Better In The Search Results

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan Thies is the author of "Search Engine Optimization Fast Start," a beginner's guide to higher search Engine rankings (http://www.cannedbooks.com). Reach him at dan@cannedhelp.com.