This story was written by Joseph Tartakoff.
Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) is licensing its web search technology to Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT)—but it is holding on to its Delicious social bookmarking site, which offers one alternative way to find items on the web by sifting through sites that people have bookmarked. And on Tuesday, Yahoo announced several changes to the service, which should help keep it relevant, especially as more people head to sites like Twitter and Facebook to share links and track popular topics.
The Delicious home page now features a category of “Fresh Bookmarks” listing links that are being talked about on Twitter, rather than the previous “Popular Bookmarks,” which listed the most frequently bookmarked links on Delicious. In a blog post, Yahoo Architect Vik Singh explained that the old system had some pitfalls. “You typically found links that had ~100 bookmarks—so more authoritative resources as opposed to fresh news,” he writes. “Additionally, given that the most popular tag on delicious is design, you probably encountered headlines like 100+ Wordpress Themes on most days ... For this new Fresh homepage, our system displays recently bookmarked links and tweeted messages focused mostly on technology, web, politics, and media.”
Yahoo is also adding some additional search tools to Delicious, so that users can filter results by general categories and also by date. YouTube videos, Flickr photos, and Yelp entries will also be included in some searches. And users will now be able to e-mail or tweet bookmarks straight from Delicious.
The changes come as traffic to Delicious has stagnated over the last year, according to Compete.com figures. The site faces increasing competition from sites like Twitter and Facebook that make it easy for people to share links. (Twitter search engines, like OneRiot, meanwhile, provide an easy way to see what is being linked about most on sites like Twitter and Digg in real-time).
And, indeed, in explaining the changes, Singh acknowledged that he thought Delicious “could benefit greatly from a social-freshness lift.” Yahoo closed down its MyWeb social bookmarking site in March in order to focus on Delicious.
By Joseph Tartakoff