Since Day One, BrightLocal has featured all the major players in its powerful local search reporting systems, but in just over three weeks we’ll be saying goodbye to a search engine whose importance in recent years has depleted to the point of insignificance.
That’s right, on March 1st we’ll be saying “toodle-oo” to Yahoo.
At present, search rankings for both Yahoo and Yahoo Local are featured in our Local Search Rank Checker and Local Search Audit reports, but from March 1st, 2020, these reports will only return results from the search engines that our customers tell us really matter to them: Google, Google Maps, Google Mobile, Bing, and Bing Local.
Why are we removing Yahoo from reports?
There are a few reasons:
Much faster reporting times for all customers
While we’re proud of the speed of our ad hoc and scheduled ranking and audit reports, there’s always more that can be done to improve it, and kicking Yahoo to the kerb is going to make a huge difference.
Naturally, there’s a speed benefit to reporting one less search engine, but because reporting Yahoo rankings is more complex and time-consuming than it is for other search engines, the overall report run time should come down significantly.
We currently lose 3-5 hours of reporting time per day just to the process of getting rankings from Yahoo, and this saved time will help speed up report runs across our entire customer base, massively reducing the time from click to data and allowing you to get to the nitty-gritty quicker than ever.
Reporting on what really matters
Pour one out for Yahoo, because hardly anyone uses it any more: at the time of writing, Yahoo has just 1.64% of the worldwide search market share (USA: 3.68%, UK: 1.48%, Canada: 2.07%, Australia: 0.79%).
Additionally, in a recent survey of BrightLocal customers, over 75% of respondents said they found little to no value in reporting rankings from Yahoo.
When approached for comment, local SEO expert and VP of Search at SearchLab, Greg Gifford simply had this to say:
Wait, Yahoo’s still around?
Our customers and their clients want the data in their ranking reports to be a good, accurate representation of their local search performance, and removing Yahoo from reports will prevent these ultimately powerless rankings from skewing the perception of how well businesses are doing in local.
No more duplicating effort
For some years, Yahoo’s search engine has been completely powered by Bing’s algorithm, and for the same duration we’ve been reporting Yahoo and Bing rankings separately in our tools.
While at first there was some agreement that tracking both was worthwhile, this argument has dwindled along with Yahoo’s user base. It therefore no longer makes sense to duplicate effort by tracking both Yahoo and Bing.
More time spent on the features you want
Believe it or not, the least-used search engine is the one that’s probably caused us the most headaches over the years! Reporting rankings from Yahoo comes with technical complexities that keep our eye away from the exciting new features and updates we know BrightLocal customers really want.
By removing Yahoo from our reports, we’re better able to work on much-requested Local Search Rank Checker features like:
- Clear visualization of local rankings across zipcodes (e.g. GeoMaps Rank Tracking)
- New Local keyword research tool
- Faster, better multi-location ranking reports
- Continued improvements to speed and data accuracy
What will this mean for your Local Search Rank Checker and Local Search Audit reports?
From March 1st, Yahoo will not be featured in Local Search Rank Checker Report and Local Search Audit reports. You’ll no longer be able to request rankings from Yahoo or Yahoo Local, and these columns and sections will be removed from the relevant reports.
We are making this change to historical reports, too, removing all Yahoo data in its entirety so that your charts showing rankings changes and progress are accurate, more representative of performance, and crucially, so that they don’t see a slump from the date we remove Yahoo.
In short, it’ll be like Yahoo and Yahoo Local never existed in BrightLocal, leaving you, and us, to focus on the data that really has an impact.
This means that if you want to keep Yahoo or Yahoo Local data, you’ll need to download it via the ‘csv download’ function within Local Search Rank Checker before March 1st, 2020.
We hope you’ll agree that, in 2020, it makes sense for us to retire Yahoo from our ranking and audit reports, but if you have any questions about the decision or how your reports will be affected, please get in touch.