Yahoo! continues it's game of shutting down web services. After announcing that they will no longer support two very useful web services - MyBlogLog and Del.Icio.Us, Yahoo! has now announced the shut down of it's Site Explorer tool from the Yahoo! Search service.
For those who are not aware of the Site Explorer tool, it is similar to Google's Webmaster tools and Bing's Webmaster Center. The Site Explorer tools lets users (webmasters) see extra information about their sites' performance on Yahoo! search, submit sitemaps, view errors encountered by Yahoo! crawler bot etc.
Back in August 2010, Yahoo! had said that the Site Explorer tool would be continued even after the search alliance between Yahoo! and Bing (the search engine from Microsoft) which involved merging Yahoo!'s search infrastructure with Bing. Now that this merging and transition is over for major areas like U.S., Canada, Australia and Brazil, Yahoo! no longer feels like continuing the Site Explorer tool.
Given that Yahoo! search will gradually merge into Bing for all countries across the world, there is actually no point of having both the Bing Webmaster Center and the Yahoo! Site Explorer which do almost the same things.
So it has been decided that, once organic results of Yahoo! are transitioned to Bing in all the markets, Yahoo! Site Explorer will be shut down and Microsoft’s Webmaster Tools will become the unified tool for webmasters, both on Yahoo! and Bing search. These changes are expected to come into effect by the end of this year (2011).
According to the Yahoo! search blog:
The Bing Webmaster Center team has been actively adding new features over the past few months, including detailed traffic statistics and a new inbound links feature. Microsoft is also committed to build analytic reports that include Yahoo! search usage.
However, Yahoo! has put webmasters in a bit of fix with this announcement. On one hand, it is asking users to start using Bing Webmaster Center and on the other hand it is recommending users not to stop using the Site Explorer tool right away as Yahoo! still uses it to receive website sitemaps.
Here is what they have to say about using both the Site Explore and the Bing Webmaster Tool:
We encourage you to continue using Site Explorer as you have in the past until we fully switch over to Microsoft search platform for organic results.
One good thing that these changes will bring about for the webmasters is that they don’t have to optimize their websites for Yahoo! and Bing Search engines separately in the future after the transition is over as any optimizations that they do on Bing Webmaster Center tool in the future will be automatically reflected in Yahoo! organic search results.
Some important things to take a note of
- The Yahoo! Developer Network Site Explorer API will not be discontinued up until September 15, 2011. But the BOSS Site Explorer APIs are scheduled for a shut down on July 20, 2011.
- Yahoo! will still continue to selectively crawl websites even after the transition to Bing is over, in order to provide a better search experience.
via Yahoo! search blog