Yahoo launched their much-anticipated Site Explorer on Thursday. Yahoo discussed the Site Explorer during SES San Jose but at the time, it was just talk. Now, intrepid explorers may hack through the jungles of URL by visiting both the sites and the inlinks.
The service is separated from other forms of search, because it doesn't work from search terms, it works from URLs. One pastes in a particular URL into the box and all the subpages indexed by Yahoo show up. If you need to see a subpage under path, that's possible too.
Then, when that listing comes up, it presents a couple of choices to alter your listings. First, if the pages result isn't what you needed, you can go to the inlinks and it will show the inlinks they've got indexed for the URL you requested.
The second option gives you a choice of all subdomains or just the specific domain. The example of an alma mater, www.eku.edu brought up 1,432 pages for example and 19,076 inlinks. This was with all subdomains. When you switch to "only this domain," it switches to 1,433 pages.
"Tell us what we don't know."
The Yahoo Search Blog emphasized the new tool is user friendly and user input is necessary for it to succeed. A search brings up 50 results by default, they offer web services APIs, the ability to export the info into a TSV file and the ability to freely and frequently submit ULRs users feel should be listed.
They dedicate some space to the free submit feature. URLs can be submitted at no charge and in large lists. This is great when users are finding fair numbers of URLs left out of whatever they're searching for. This allows them to improve their listings within Yahoo's indexes and that could mean a slightly better listing in Yahoo's page ranking system.
What's In It For Me?
While there are always unrealized benefits, the Site Explorer presents some immediately recognizable ones. Tracking indexed URLs can be crucial and tracking those inlinks can sometimes be even more crucial, particularly when trying to figure out how your page rank in Yahoo is going.
Site Explorer will allow people to ascertain which of their URLs are getting indexed and which aren't. Then it allows the user to change it, to take some control over their rankings in Yahoo. It will also allow them to track their inlinks and find where their site(s) is being picked up.
While most of this applies directly to Yahoo, it could certainly be stretched over the other search engines too. The information Yahoo provides, like inlinks listing, apply to all the search engines and would allows users to improve those.
The API features can be used to narrow and control that even further. Once again, applying this to Yahoo should allow users to glean information that can be applicable to all your search engines.
This is really a great tool. It's not unreasonable to expect other search engines will introduce this tool into their toolbox fairly quickly. It's far too useful not to offer it. This does keep with Yahoo's theme of offering customers choice and control over how they interface with Yahoo at just about every level.