The Yahoo directory has officially closed its doors, a few days earlier than expected. Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land was the first to notice the closure of the long running directory this past weekend.
The Yahoo directory used to be an essential part of SEO many, many years ago. But as SEO practices evolved, so did the usage of the Yahoo directory and of many online directories in general.
Yahoo quietly announced the closure of the Yahoo directory in September on the company’s Tumblr page, where the mention of the closure seem to mere afterthought. The closure had been announced for December 31, 2014, however they seem to have closed it a few days early. The old dir.yahoo.com address now redirects to the Yahoo Business Pages, which looks fairly similar to the old Yahoo Directory, albiet with some structure and category differences.
The categories and listings on the Yahoo Small Business pages seem to be transferring over from the old Yahoo Directory, as Danny Sullivan noted on the weekend that the new Yahoo Small Business directory pages were showing errors when you tried to view listings, however this seems to have been fixed since then. Users can now view listings in any of the categories and subcategories now.
The listings in each of the categories on the Yahoo Small Business pages don’t appear to be coming directly from the old Yahoo directory, as there seems to be an extremely reduced number of listings on the new version, and none of them seem to be tagged as sponsored at this time. You can compare one of the categories, “Business and Economy” (here for the new directory, and here for the old) and you can see it is a much stripped-down version.
However, in the original closure announcement, it was said that “advertisers will be upgraded to a new service,” so we could see more sponsored listings showing up as they finish what seems to be a transition to Yahoo Small Business.
While the old Yahoo Directory had fallen out of use to a certain extent, there were still many sponsored listings which raises the question about why transition it to a very similar site under the “Yahoo Small Business” brand.
Many SEOs who’ve been in the industry for 15 years or so will fondly remember the value of the old Yahoo Directory. And it certainly is the end of an era that the old Yahoo directory has closed its doors. However, I’m sure many will be watching this new Yahoo Small Business directory to see if there is any value to be squeaked out of it.
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