Pay Yahoo! $300 to get Your Title Borked in Search Results?

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Pay Yahoo to remove your title tag??
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Right on the heels of Google getting slammed for messing around with DMOZ snippets, comes angry words from Jim Boykin over Yahoo's messing with Title tags in Search results.

The simple version is this: If you pay $300 to get a Yahoo! directory listing, you're in danger of having them replace your <title> tag for pages with their own directory title. By their own rules (details on Jim's post) businesses must be listed under their business name, so you might imagine that this can potentially damage click throughs and rankings in the regular results.

Need an example? Try internet marketing consulting - See #4? That's Jim, kinda shit huh?

We've had much discussion on whether SE's should mess with title and description tags - most agree that a relevant snippet as the description is just fine, but messing with title tags? That's not hot in my opinion...

Oh, and by the way. If you'd not realized, that's a new blog Jim has there. You can grab the feed here


Recommended in Google Webmaster Guidelines - What a Crock

While Google states in their Webmaster Guidelines "Submit your site to relevant directories such as the Open Directory Project and Yahoo!, as well as to other industry-specific expert sites" I am on the fence as to whether or not the business name, as the title, effects the SERPs?

it's free at dmoz

Hey, you can get your title borked for free at, but only if they decide to include you to begin with.

Tim said they were going to change this...

At SES, I understood Tim to say that the title situation was going to change. I believe his phrasing was: "The Yahoo directory title is currently an overlay. That will be moved back."

Don't ask me what an "overlay" really is. The context was the discussion with the engines where we all wanted them to leave our titles and descriptions alone. I assumed, from Tim's answer amidst raised pitchforks in the audience, that Yahoo had finally gotten the message.

Anyway, we're still waiting.

Titles and Abstracts

What I was saying in San Jose is that currently for every listing in the directory we are overriding the title and description with the ones from the Yahoo directory. In the future we will have the Yahoo Directory as a potential source for display and show it when it makes sense.

Many SEOs want their title and description to show up regardless of the query and the quality of the title and description. If your title and description is great and provides the user what they want for that specific query then we should show it. People on this site know how to create titles and descriptions and the importance of them. Many site owners do not.

A lot of sites have lousy titles and descriptions or worse yet no title or description and sometimes absolutely no search engine readable text on the page at all. Therefore for SEs to provide the best user experience we need to create technology that can decide which is the best title and description for a page based on the query that the user types in to the search box.

Jim while you show one example which proves your point and I am sure there are others that support your point. There are obviously many counter examples too.

The lesson is

Don't give your Internet business a bad title.

That fourth listing is by far the most clickable of the top 5. If on the site's main page there would be a ":" after the first three words and before "Internet Marketing Services", you'd have a much superior listing than those around it. But they didn't know what they were doing, if they cared about Yahoo anyway. It's been a skill for years to title your business correctly before submitting to Yahoo. Apparently some alleged SEOs are still unaware of this.

True Tim, But

I think most ranking sites for commercial terms have relevant titles already. I've seen a few ranking sites with bad titles, but that's more of the exception these days than the norm.

It's probably better for users to see the overlay only if the title is determined to be bad, not by default as it is now.

Buddha I agree

I agree thats why we are changing it to a better solution.


I've been recommending that most sites NOT submit to the Yahoo directory for years for this very reason. It just plain sucks.

I agree

Thing is, while a Yahoo listing can be quite valuable, sometimes you get the most watered-down, non-outstanding title and description -- and ones that can't easily be updated as your business expands.

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