Techcrunch reported on Saturday about an interesting test conducted by Yahoo!
Yahoo! linked to outside websites from their homepage, something that big portals like AOL, MSN at of course Yahoo! usually don’t do, with the exception of advertising. The homepage of the portals was traditionally only linking to content within their own website or to other company properties.
Yahoo! explained that they hope that this will increase the user’s actual or perceived relevance of Yahoo! as a portal in general. They will analyze the data and user feedback to decide if they will make this linking to 3rd party websites from prominent homepage spots a general Yahoo! policy and continue to do so in the future or not.
I am sure that Yahoo! does not have any problems with finding “beta testers” for their experiment.
Loren would probably not mind to have Yahoo! use SearchEngineJournal.com for some test runs, I have a few sites of my own where I would be willing to make this “sacrifice” and I am sure that most of you would be willing to do the same for them. I for my part am always willing to help other people out and I just fell in love with Yahoo!, probably even more so if they would have a homepage that links to my site.
Okay, I know. Nice try. It probably takes a bit more than a bit sweet talking before they put up a link to your site on their homepage, contextual relevance and importance for example, but hey everything is fair in love, war and getting a link from Yahoo!’s homepage ;).
The new Google universal search interface also provided some spare room for extra links. They might also want to do some tests with linking to 3rd party websites, without adding NOFOLLOW and getting paid a dime for the link of course.