Yahoo’s most valuable property is still its homepage. It drives tons of traffic to any site it links to. That’s why all the links on Yahoo.com either go to other Yahoo properties or to Yahoo partners. Until now. Starting today, visitors to Yahoo’s homepage will start to see links going to blogs and media sites that don’t have a syndication deal with Yahoo. These include VanityFair.com, Salon.com, SFGate.com, Lifehacker, and Gizmodo. (Disclosure: TechCrunch’s sister site CrunchGear was included when Yahoo was beta testing this feature). The sites are selected by human editors at Yahoo. The criteria, according to a Yahoo spokesperson is this:
Yahoo! will select outside content from a wide variety of sites across the Internet (large and small, with sufficient traffic management capabilities), that have unique or exclusive content which will be programmed alongside our usual links to related Yahoo! content.
So far, these links have been sporadic. But if they become a regular part of the homepage, it should help Yahoo in its mission to be a trusted filter for the entire Web. (Not that those syndication deals are going away).