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Yahoo is like that annoying guy Larry who peaked in high school—still bragging about the 1983 state victory and that he took Pam to the prom. Most of the time, you’re fine ignoring that update on his latest fishing trip or his annoying Facebook-status brag about his recent game of golf. But sometimes, he does something bigger, and you can’t ignore it (but you still wonder if it’s worth your time). And that has been Yahoo this weekend.
On December 27, the secondary search engine closed its “Yahoo Directory”—this was the company’s core service that launched it as a competitive internet company 20 years ago. Now, before you go consider this as a late Christmas present to Google, let’s consider the facts:
- Yahoo Directory launched in 1994.
- It has been described the “Google of the 90s” and allowed Yahoo users to search for articles within specific categories (such as Economy, Events, Humanities, Regional Information, etc.).
- It was already scheduled to shut down—it just did it five days earlier than planned (without closing out 2014).
- The site is now redirecting to Yahoo Small Business (this is important—more on that below).
Why Does It Matter?
While at the time of this post, there had been no official comment or statement by Yahoo, marketers can only speculate that Yahoo Directory is closing to make room for its revenue driving, product and service focused child that is Yahoo Small Business. In effort to keep up with Google My Business and other online directories such as Yelp, Angie’s List, and Yellow Pages, Yahoo Small Business offers business owners guidance and support for managing their online presence in the local search realm of Yahoo.
That was a mouthful—basically, business owners can manage the information associated with their business for users who search for their company or local services they offer.
An easier explanation? Think about when you search for “HVAC in Frenchtown, NJ” and see different heating and cooling companies, their hours, their accepted forms of payment, pictures of their technicians, and more.
About Yahoo Small Business
The catch of why Yahoo Small Business may not be able to keep up with Google? Users have to pay for anything but the basic free listing profile (which doesn’t come with any customer support and can be confusing if there are multiple local listings or incorrect information—such as an incorrect phone number). Here’s a breakdown of the offerings and prices for Yahoo Small Business:
- Local basic listing (Free)
- Yahoo Localworks ($29.99/month)
- Mobile Offer Ads ($29/month)
- Yahoo Gemini ($25+)
Does This Affect My Small Business?
In short, the closing of the Yahoo Directory does not impact your small business—but it gives an indication of what’s to come for online marketing. Yahoo is clearly focusing more attention on its Yahoo Small Business vertical. While search volumes on Yahoo are much smaller than Google and Bing (it’s been estimated that Yahoo has less than 10 percent of search share), people do still search on Yahoo and local SEO in general is going to be a big focus in 2015 (Search Engine Land attributes poor local rankings as a result of inconsistent local directory information). So small business owners should take this as a cue to clean up their local NAP (name, address, phone number) game—meaning creating consistency across all local directories.
Local SEO Services from Blue Corona
If you need help with your local SEO, contact the pros at Blue Corona. Not only are we pros at getting small businesses ranked on Yahoo, Google, and Bing, we are pros at getting new customers to call you. All of this is done through our three-step SEO approach (which includes local SEO and Yahoo Small Business!). Call us today or submit your company’s URL below to get a FREE SEO analysis:
About The Author: Hannah is the SEO Team Lead at Blue Corona. If she's not busy daydreaming about the training session for her team, you can find her improving client conversion rates and planning her next trip.
View more blogs by Hannah Nelson