So after blogging about how Yahoo and Microsoft have adopted Google's sitemap standard, I thought I'd go ahead and re-submit some of my websites with these search engines. After all, now that they were going to read the sitemap, it couldn't hurt, right?
Here's an instance where Microsoft gets it and Yahoo doesn't: When you're trying to build relevance of your search engine, you don't make people jump through hoops.
Take a look at Yahoo's submission page.
Actually, it's not a submission page — it's a login page. Yes, that's right. You have to have or create a Yahoo account in order to submit your site to Yahoo. In other words, their claim of a "free" submission is a bit misleading, because they aren't considering the fact that you're required to give your name, your birthdate, your email address and your zipcode as being a cost. Yeah right.
Okay, so I figured, What's the big deal? I have an account somewhere. Unfortunately, after all the email system crashes and hard drive failures I've had over the years, I could not find my login info. So I figured I'd just make a new account.
Ah, but there's another catch: They want your
site browser to accept cookies.
Now call me a tinfoil hatter if you want, but ever since I read about Yahoo's we-track-every-website-you-visit-and-add-it-to-our-database-on-you policy*, I've been a bit cagey with regards to Yahoo. At some point along the line, I did more than opt out of their rather offensive privacy-invading program — I started blocking Yahoo's cookies.
And of course that came back to bite me today, when I was unable to create a new account with Yahoo. Mark me down as a casualty of not wanting to give up my privacy to some faceless conglomerate just so I can add value to their product.
As a contrast, take a look at Microsoft's submission page.
Very simple. Enter your URL and they send their 'bots a 'crawlin'. In other words, Microsoft wants you to help them add value to their search engine. (Even their captcha is easier to decipher.) After all, if they don't have accurate and comprehensive search results, their relevance will diminish and they will lose market share.
This is something Google has known for a long time. While they like you to register for things like analytics and testing your sitemap, they are perfectly happy to index your site even if you have not given them your identification portfolio. After all, what good is a search engine that arbitrarily makes it hard for some sites to be indexed?
Hello, Yahoo! Are you paying attention? Microsoft gets it and you don't. Am I alone in finding this very ... ironic?
*Which I am totally aware may not be all that unique.