Tim Mayer from Yahoo was up first. Yahoo gets about 1.76B pageviews per day, 325 million unique users, 157 million active registered users, 7.6 million unique paying relationships. People sometimes ask if Yahoo! has different data centers (like Google) he said they pretty much deploy test changes all the time, that is why you see changes. They released My Yahoo Search and the features within it (Save, Store, Remember searches, block sites, folders to save pages within, you can also publish your saved pages to an XML feed or MyYahoo. In addition, you can sort the results, see how you found the results in the past. He said my.search.yahoo.com currently points to a Malaysia search by mistake. He then showed how you can easily add xml feed to yahoo through the SERPs (if its available) and to go to add.my.yahoo.com/rss. They support RSS, RDF in the crawl, they support ATOM in My Yahoo but not the crawl. 99% of the index is free, to get in, get a link from a page already in the Yahoo index (then goes through some other SEO basics). http://submit.search.yahoo.com/free/request/ is a way to submit your site for free, but be careful using it - dont spam it. Then talks about the robot.txt stuff. They will be trying to merge all the robots they have (normal slurp, multimedia, shopping, news, etc.
Redirect Handling By Yahoo. All this stuff should be working ok in two weeks. Redirects from one domain to another will index the "target" rather then the "source". Meta Redirects: > 1 sec treated as a 301, < 1 sec is treated as a 302. Redirects internal will keep the source as the main link. This will be launched shortly, and you should see stuff happening in the next four weeks. This should fix all the issues discussed in the forums.
Next up was Dan Boberg from Overture, part of Yahoo. Was a bit funny at the beginning about WMW jokes. He is going to review five marketing segments. (1) We know that consumers value search and we know how they search. Research is the number one reason why people use the internet., then entrainment and then to find things they heard about via word of mouth. 80% enter more then one word when searching, 47% enter 3 or more words. (2) Customer segmentation is about dividing up your customer base. He discusses about the buyer's life cycle; discovery, research, comparison, and purchase phases. (3) Web business models include; e-commerce, lead generation, content, customer service - then you need to measure each model differently. (4) Then we move into Branding, which is important. Paid listings in addition to organic help with branding. (5) Customer experience best practices, multiple channel awareness.
Michael Palka from Ask Jeeves was up next, he said that Paul Gardi (who normally gives these presentations) is now too important to give these presentations, and followed up that joke about saying he will give us spam tips. He talked about how Ask Jeeves grew, is growing, yada yada. He said although that they are larger, he said its probably not worth trying to manipulate the results of Ask Jeeves - stick with Google and Yahoo - of course that got a laugh and applause. He then went into what makes Ask Jeeves great. He talks about subject specific popularity and communities, hubs and authorities - all topics discussed here a few times. He said same subject links are very popular, they like text links.
Matt Cutts from Google is up next. Spoke to him right before the session to say hi. Although he is worth a lot more then the last time I saw him, he still looks the same. :) In addition he has cant talk well, he lost his voice, I wonder how he is going to give this presentation. He said he loves the WebmasterWorld community is very lovable. He started off saying that it was the one year anniversary of the Florida, and he said GoogleGuy was posting, but he said he doesn't want to announce anything big at this conference. He said he is very excited about AdWords Professional program. Google's mission statement, "organize the world's information to make it universally accessible and useful." They do not want to limit themselves on the search engine business only. He went through the new features, 8 billion pages, they now have a date on every cached page (he is proud of that), Gmail just added email forwarding and pop3 - they have no plans to charge for it. They have no plans to charge for Froogle inclusion. Google desktop search, lots of internationalization and a whole big list. Google is doing a better job with expired domains. Doubled the amount of link data which he explains to be better. They broadened out more accessibility to those links. He is a good politician. They keep the lines open he says AdWordsAdvisor has 1,750 posts and GoogleGuy has 2,400 posts. How does Google handle spam reports? He started saying that you should not rely on CSS Z layers or cloaking anymore. To be reindexed send an email to email@example.com with "re-inclusion request" in the subject line and in a few weeks you should be reincluded in time. He then showed examples of a cloaked site for "cheap airplane tickets", he showed the cloaked page versus the user page. He then shows off some templates where you replace keywords into templates, same content over and over again but just swap out several keywords. He then showed some guest book spam, comment spam, forum spam, link exchanges, etc. He finished off saying SEO will get easier, but spam will get harder.
Q & A: Q: Can a site be both a hub and authority in the Teoma world? A: Yes but most are not, but it is possible.
Q: Does a site get tagged to be in a community in Teoma? A: He started off saying, why are people asking me questions, they should ask Google or Yahoo. He said sites do not get tagged.
Q: An other Q for Ask Jeeves. Are you guys ever going to move your AdWords ads out of the way? A: He said AdWords is so great, they want it front and center. He said they are always looking to enhance the user experience. They are looking for ways to improve that.
Q: Ask again, how about killing the Ask frame? A: Might happen soon, its possible.
Q: An other question for Ask A: Michael, Ask, said the rest of the panel can go home.
Q: The question continues, back a while ago he did the PFI to Ask and he got lots of impressions but zero clicks. Only clicks he got from Ask was from AdWords. The Ads are in the way and they dont see the natural results. A: He said it is hard to comment on a specific example. He said it seems like a odd situation. Michael could not answer the question, he needs to see his example.
Q: How do the engines handle "DBA" (doing business as VS. database admin)? A: Google praised Ask refinement tools, Ask thanked them.