Brett asked what Tim thinks about the conference. Tim answered its very useful to get the feedback from the Webmasters. He said search has grown so much but new issues always arise, so this helps.
Brett asks is it your designated position to reach out or is it a team effort? Tim said part of Yahoo!'s mission is to appeal to the Webmasters as well as everyone else. It is not really in Tim's job description to reach out, its just something he has been doing a long time.
Many of the WebmasterWorld people wanted to know from Tim.
Q: How did you approach to being through so many companies, working for so many teams and so on? A: He said part of it is the relationships he has with people. He has been part of this industry for such a long time. He has always been very passionate about search. That was one of the biggest draws about FAST versus Inktomi (since FAST was more search focuses). He keeps in touch with people. Inktomi had a goodbye dinner for him, he left on a good note - even though he went to a competitor. Then during the acquisition by Yahoo! that was good work.
Q: My Yahoo! is one of the best personal management system. That leads into personalized search, how will that be used in the index? A: They just launched in the default engine (MyWeb) with the "Block" and "Save" links. This really creates a personalized index for everyone, people have really taken to the product and that is why they moved it to the main results. They also just launched the subscription product. He also mentioned Yahoo! Mindset, which is about a commercial and non commercial classifier (this is not the implementation they will use out of beta he said).
Q: What is the best product you launched this past year? A: Tim said he loves MyWeb, personalized search experience, since it encompasses a lot. He also likes the media search; "image search - largest index out there", video search (which they sorted invented a method to submit videos), there is so much improvements to be made in media search - so lots of fun to be had.
Q: What is the next thing that will change relevancy over the next year? Is it personalization? A: Tim said, personalization will give lots of signals (blocking pages, and saving pages). Link popularity has gone so far. He rather know that john Doe knows he likes these types of pages over those, user specific. Also spam fighting (detection) is a big area (blog spam is the big issue last year and now its AdSense scraping causing issues).
Q: Geo delivery is becoming big, search engines getting big into local, etc...where is yahoo going? A: Yahoo! is going after the most popular queries. But where it will expand is where the businesses are not on the Web. Tim has a baby-sitter, how does she get on the local Web?
Q: What is the biggest product you have out there that is the most under utilized? A: Tim said the search.yahoo.com is the most under utilized. Everyone goes to Yahoo.com and not the search page. There are lots of customization features with search.yahoo.com. The other service is the YSDN (yahoo service developer network) he encourages everyone to use it, instead of scraping the results.
Q: What is the biggest thing you are fighting out there and the biggest strength? A: He mentioned my relevancy test and how they won and he said they are doing a good job with rankings. He said overall, discovering new content is some area where all engines can improve (finding new content).
Q: Any big plans for AltaVista and AllTheWeb? A: He is looking for a product manager to run those two sites, so please apply for the job.
Q: Is there any difference between AV, AllTheWeb, Yahoo's indexes? A: Tim said they are slightly different, because they tweak to make it more relevant to the user.
Q: How important is the Chinese market? A: Asia is very important to Yahoo!, they are very big in Japan (60+% share). They have acquired 3721 in China, its a navigational service. He agrees with Shak that China will explode, but he thinks international in general will grow dramatically.
Audience Questions: Q: Re-inclusion requests, how do we do it? A: YSD Feedback @ Yahoo .com is the method they track it, they also have a Web form. That is sent to a team that will look at your site. They will usually get back to you. If your violating terms then its hard to respond. More then 50% of the time it is not a ban, its a technical issue. He said its great to get feedback from fellow SEOs before sending it off to a search engine representative. But they do take it seriously.
Q: Does Yahoo have plans to use the feedback they get in MyWeb for ranking purposes? A: Tim said, if he says yes then everyone will start clicking on everyone else to block or save. He said they will look at the data and if it makes sense, they might use it. They will have to see if it will help relevancy. The main reason was to find old results, people forget how they get to places some times.