I hate to be negative about Yahoo. I like Yahoo. I still use their e-mail and I always include it in my list of “other search engines” when giving SEO best practices. Such as, “this will optimize your page for Google and other search engines like Yahoo.” And I do not want them to be eaten by Microsoft or Google. A few years ago I thought Yahoo would be the Web 1.0 search engine to go vertical and reach the niche markets Google seemed to have no interest in. At one point (it was a very small point, I admit) I thought that Yahoo could truly compete with iTunes in podcasting. Their offering had so much more customization and community enablement than iTunes had then (2005 or so) and still has. But I just don’t see that happening now with Yahoo Podcasts or Yahoo Audio search or whatever the name is now.
But now Yahoo has come out with two “new” functionalities that just make me wonder why bother. As for Open search/customizable entries, I tried subscribed links when Google first offered them. The cool factor was very high and creation was really easy. But if I could not get a bunch of people to sign up to get my subscribed links displayed in their results or install it as a gadget and if it would never become part of the standard Google results, then there isn’t much use for it. At least from the basic SEO stand-point, it does not help me reach the unaware user. I am not sure how Yahoo is going to use this or how these links will be developed, but I agree with Philipp Lenssen that at the very least Yahoo should try and take this somewhere if they are going to do it at all. Google can afford to toss something out there with no support; Yahoo is not in a position to do that.
As for the invitation to join (visit?) Yahoo buzz I got in my Yahoo mail today, I will admit I just don’t get it. I have not yet gotten on the bandwagon for sites like Digg and Reddit, so I may not be in the target audience for this. However, I do see the value of existing social news sites, but what I don’t see is the value of yet another site for “buzz.” What I want is a site that will separate the truly valuable news from the random buzz. I get that from trusted sources — that is, blogs and twitter. This is my version of trusted sources, maybe someone else will value Yahoo Buzz.