It’s another Monday and seems to be another day of inbox Spam. However, I’ve noticed recently how more and more spam groups are being created on Yahoo! and joining me. They basically say the same thing:
I’ve added you to my akljsdfklj group. a free Yahoo! Group to send and receive group messages.
To gain access, click the link…
This is another reason that Yahoo! just doesn’t care about their product. I use Google Groups all the time and don’t get any spam messages like this. Yet, every week I am removing stupid posts like in the image.
Where is the confirmation? I really have to click on a link and tell them this group is spam? Why not have some protocols in place to avoid me getting annoyed like this?
Here are some ideas that anyone running a group website could implement:
1. Multiple fields on form
Make them fill out more information than your name and small description. Make them enter in some contact information. Require a description field to be 20 words or more (not just characters). Have an algorithm determine if the description is jibberish or actually says something.
It’s annoying, but in a way, it’s meant to be annoying. That way, you know someone is human. Yahoo! does have some CAPTCHA algorithms that they could use in this group. It also kills the bots attempts to register groups.
Email confirmation means they have to register an email address first. That might also stop some bots from creating groups.
These are not revolutionary ideas. They have been used before and can be used again. The more we can stop spammers and bots, the less phishing scams and malware can be created. When that happens, people and companies save millions of dollars.
So Yahoo! – If you’re just going to let it continue, then why not shut down YahooGroups and get out of the business. It’s what you’re doing anyway…
Yahoo announced today that they are enhancing their image search. It has a new tiled interface, a “latest” tab for trending results, a “galleries” tab, and Facebook integration that displays pictures from your friends with your results. The biggest change is, perhaps, the way clicked images are displayed. According to the Yahoo announcement:
“By clicking on any image on the search results page, the image will appear on a fresh page allowing users to browse effortlessly through full-size images with a simple click on the desktop browser.”
The new tiled interface renders all images in equal size, which I actually like better than Google’s “mismatched” look. Like Google and Bing, Yahoo enlarges an image if you hover your mouse over it.
Yahoo is also claiming that more improvements are on the way. These changes are worth checking out because I think this may be the cleanest, prettiest image search of any of the big three search engines. Of course, the bottom line is the results your query gets, and that remains to be seen. You can test it out at images.yahoo.com.
Yahoo! continues to condense the Yahoo! Giant. This time, it’s Yahoo! Buzz – the Digg-like site that aggregates news articles. In a statement made on the website, it says:
Yahoo! Buzz will be discontinued as of April 21, 2011. As of this date, you will be unable to access the Yahoo! Buzz site. This was a hard decision. However this will help us focus on our core strengths and new innovations.
We appreciate your patronage.
The Yahoo! Buzz Team
In the last 6 months, Yahoo! has continued to close down properties. Yahoo! 360, MyBlogLog, AllTheWeb and more. All put in mothballs.
Some properties continue to thrive – for now. Delicious almost saw demise, but Yahoo! corrected by stating the bookmarking site is actually “For Sale” (unless it did get sold. Last time I heard, the sale was unofficial news). Other sites we saw for sale were Yahoo! HotJobs (sold to Monster) and it’s search engine (to Microsoft).
No word why Buzz isn’t getting sold. Maybe they tested the market waters and no one wanted it.
Do You have the Buzz Widget on your Website?
One thing to note – if you installed the Buzz widget on your site, you might want to take it off.
No, not the Google Buzz widget. That’s still around.
Yahoo! Buzz launched Feb 26, 2008 to tepid fanfare. They launched to counter Digg. Earlier this year when content farms got hit with a new Google algorithm, Digg had to restructure. I guess Yahoo just wanted to be done with it.
Despite the fact that Yahoo and its search function are still not at the top of the list people use to complete Internet searches, they continue to make changes and upgrade their experience. Sometimes I call Yahoo the Little Search Engine That Could.
Back in the day, before Google was an itch in anyone’s brain, we used search engines like Alta Vista, and meta searches like DogPile. Yahoo’s dedication to search technology quickly brought it to the forefront, where it ranked top among search engines for several years before the big G came along. One of the things that Yahoo did well was to offer a more “social” and diverse experience; there was search, there was shopping (remember Yahoo Auctions?), there were mailing lists, there was instant messenger. As people were looking for something broader than AOL, much of what they were used to was over at Yahoo, and the switch was easy.
And despite Yahoo’s foibles over the years, they are still relevant, and plenty of people still use Yahoo for a variety of things, including search. A few new changes have only added to the continuing value and functionality of the site. A simple search on a movie or song title will bring up standard search results, but also shows vertical tabs that take you directly to common elements, like IMDB listings, trailers, and lyrics. This alone is pretty nifty. From the search results on a movie, you can click to add the film to your Netflix que, too. And they’ve made some changes in the mobile Yahoo search, streamlining how it works and how quickly it brings up results.
I think many of us are surprised that Yahoo continues to survive, and even thrive, in a market dominated by the big G. Changes like these will continue to keep them relevant in today’s search market.