Yahoo! Buzz has driven millions of viewers to independent blogs writing about the news of the day and now the very popular Yahoo! News appears to be experimenting with putting links to timely blog posts on every news story page throughout the site. Those links could be to your blog.Yahoo! may be struggling financially, but when it comes to supporting the rest of the web with standards and generous links - they are in the lead among the the big search and advertising companies.
See the URL hack or the archived link below to find out how to view this new design.
First unearthed by intrepid blogger Amit Agarwal, a new design for Yahoo! News story pages puts links to blog posts about the most popular stories of the moment at the bottom of every page. Agarwal says the feature is powered by BuzzTracker, the Techmeme-like site that Yahoo! bought last September.
How can you see the new design? Just change the URL of any story page on Yahoo News to include the word "story" where the letter "s" is now. You'll need to start from the front page of Yahoo! News. For example:
If for any reason Yahoo! takes down the redesign after we post about it, see this link for a live archived copy of one of the pages.
Didn't Technorati Try Something Like This?
Blog search engine Technorati had deals over the past few years with a number of mainstream news sites, most notably the Washington Post, to display blog links on each news story page. Those links don't appear to be there any more. The Technorati strategy was to display blogs that were linking to the particular story that you were on.
This Yahoo! News strategy is different. Instead, it looks at what category the story you are reading belongs to (politics, technology, sports, etc.) and displays a widget of the most popular stories in that category. Those stories are accompanied by a drop down of blogs linking to that popular story.
We don't know how Buzztracker works as well as we do its better known tech memetracking competitor Techmeme, but we're sure there's some serious vetting for quality going on.
The end result is a list of links that aren't necessarily about Yahoo! News but are of much better quality. On the other hand, just like Techmeme does, we assume that BuzzTracker uses popularity as one of the primary measures of quality - meaning that it will be harder for everyday blogs to get onto the Yahoo! pages than it was under the Technorati/Washington Post arrangement.
This is Gutsy
Linking out to independent blogs isn't something that big mainstream media companies like to do very much. Far more popular these days are services that bring up links to a company's own content elsewhere on their site or on a site within the network of content they own.
Very few blogs even offer systematically generated links to off-site resources of interest. In the quest for page views, linking elsewhere is being done less and less these days. Thus Yahoo's experiment is yet another move from the company that deserves applause. We hope the new design is rolled out to the public soon.