Yahoo! has announced they are going to pull the plug on one of our favorite SEO tools, Yahoo Site Explorer by the end of this year. The tool saw the light of the day on September 29, 2005.
Though it does not come as surprise, but there is no greater and sadder thing than the power of good bye! I am sure when Yahoo! and Bing decided they wanted to join forces, back in mid 2009, it was decided who will have to abandon their efforts! The shutting down of Yahoo Site Explorer further emphasizes, who wears the pants in this Microsoft and Yahoo relationship.
This news was confirmed by Hemant Minocha, Product Manager, Yahoo Site Explorer, on the official Yahoo! Search Blog as he went on to announce “Having two webmaster portals for a single source for organic results does not add enough value. Once organic results are transitioned to Bing in all the markets, we plan to shut down Yahoo! Site Explorerand Microsoft’s Webmaster Tools will be the source for Bing and Yahoo! webmaster site and analytics data.” Talk about getting your partner's back despite compromising your star child, Yahoo Site Explorer.
So, are you wondering, what will you do once it shuts down? Well, Yahoo! has offered a simple and not a surprising solution to that; webmasters are recommended to sign up with Bing Webmaster Tools and use that in stead.
Doesn't this make Yahoo! sound like the all self sacrificing matured adult? But, I am sure many of you will be like, how can Yahoo! make it sound like that you won’t miss the old Site Explorer? Not to mention, will, Microsoft provide us detailed link data for competitors? Also what about search engine provided look at your back links? Of course there are plenty of third party tools to get at this data, such as Majestic SEO and SEOmoz. But still I am not convinced, there are just too many unanswered questions.
Mr. Minocha further propagates Bing by stating “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.” does that make you less afraid of loosing your beloved and switching to Bing instead?
So are you wondering…
- What is the exact date that Site Explorer shut down?
To that Mr. Minocha had the following to say “We are working with Microsoft to transition organic results in all markets to the Microsoft Search platform. Site Explorer will shut down once all markets are transitioned. This is expected later this year. We will keep updating you with progress of the transition at our Search Blog.”
- From when should you start using Bing Webmaster Center?
We recommend, the sooner, the better.
- Should you stop using Site Explorer starting now?
Neither we or Yahoo! Says so. Wait till Yahoo gets transitioned to Microsoft search platform firsy. So, until then, keep sending them your site/sitemap submissions to enable yahoo to provide you with fresh and relevant data for markets that have not switched over.
- In the future will you need to optimize for Yahoo! and Bing Search engines separately?
Indeed! Yahoo! anticipates that by the end of the year, their organic results will be powered by Microsoft’s search platforms globally.
- What's the future of Site Explorer APIs like?
To that, Yahoo! answered, “The APIs were scheduled to be shut down at the end of last year, but the timeframe has been extended for the YDN Site Explorer API up until September 15, 2011.”
Whilst the future for Yahoo Site Explorer is clear. We will need to wait and watch what will things be like under the reign of Bing Webmaster Center.
To kick start your Bing Webmaster Center experience log on to the Bing webmaster's site and learn all that you need to about the site.