Yahoo! & Social Search, Tagging, Flickr & Personalization

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Source Title:
Yahoo Wanted Flickr For The Tags (& Tagging Community)
Story Text:

In an Guardian interview with Yahoo's Jerry Yang we learn more about Yahoo's plans for Social Search and the reasons behind the Flickr aquisition. All roads lead to Social Search.

What was it about Flickr that made it such a must-have acquisition? There's a lot we can achieve through this acquisition because we'll be able to leverage their leading technology and product features such as tagging (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tagging). The internet's a driving force in the change from mass media to "my media", in which consumers will be their own programmers. User-generated content or "social media" will be a large component, and Flickr (www. flickr.com) has one of the strongest, most active communities out there.

Think that means Social Search? Danny does and it'd be hard to disagree. Now put that together with these next snippets from Y's Timmy Mayer...

Saving and Blocking on Yahoo! Search

Meanwhile, in seperate, but not unrelated news, Barry and Aaron cover a 45 minute session with Yahoo's Tim Mayer, Tim's almost as well know as Matt Cutts of Google in the Search industry, and is just as likely to be seen out and about in the Search forums, though with less regularity at times.

From Barry:

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).

and Aaron

The human feedback from people blocking or saving sites will be one of the biggest things that will effect search quality in the next
few years. PageRank has been around for a long time and has become heavily manipulated. Tim says that there has to be a better way.

Summing Up..

So, reading between the lines (but not very much..), Social Search, through leverage of the Flickr community and tagging could go hand in hand with blocking and saving on MyWeb to provide Yahoo! with a fair amount of user generated, non link based (in a traditional sense), endorsement data that could (will) be used to rank pages.

Is it all going tits up for seo's? Probably not, but it'll certainly get tougher for entry level site optimization...

sidenote: kinda hard to sum up, it's all guess work heh.. feel free to draw your own conclusions :)