Wanted to share some insider info I recently learnt, first hand.
I recently had a bunch of people applying to work in my company here in Bangalore and I was surprised to see an ex-Yahoo contract employee on the interview list.
The funny part is she was telling me all about how Yahoo has now started manually filtering search results. A few shockers:
#1) Yahoo India hires about 200 people full time on a contract per team. They have a bunch of such teams that manually filter the search results they have and change rankings accordingly. These guys are NOT SEO experts but bring in a classic "typical user" behavior. Search queries come straight from the dev. team (USA)
#2) Sites like original Celebrity websites are always given preference to wikipedia or third party websites about the celeb.
#3) Yahoo MANUALLY compares the results on their pages to that of Google and then the analysts sit and rank up the sites that are displayed on Google's results (prob. because they know Google is more accurate)
#4) They are planning to increase this to a larger scale to provide better results, expanding by about 5-10 teams per half-year.
Just thought I would share this with the group to see what we can make out of this.