Recently, a member of Tin Shingle requested Media Contacts for Yahoo! Health. We do this research for our members, and add them to our Media Contacts Database that All Access Members of Tin Shingle can search through 24/7. Finding these contacts was not an easy job. The website of Yahoo itself is filled with articles published at other websites. Most of the links from the main pages of Yahoo!'s sections take you out of Yahoo! and into another website. So is Yahoo! a Zombie Website? It just links people out? Is anyone home?
Who Owns Yahoo!?
Poor Yahoo!, they once had such a shot at being a strong source of good reporting (see Forbes' "Yahoo! Sells to Verizon in the Saddest $5 Billion Deal in Tech History"), but that ginormous company merger (Verizon also owned AOL) may have derailed original content plans.
PS: Media trivia for you: the version of Verizon that owns Yahoo! and AOL is called Oath Inc..
Yahoo! Is Largely A Syndicate Website
At first blush, Yahoo! is simply aggregating articles on most of its web pages. Take a look at the homepage for Yahoo! Lifestyle, and you'll see Marie Claire, Elise Sole, People, and others. Some is sponsored content, meaning a company paid for an article to be written about them.
Yahoo! Pays To Have Content Published Elsewhere
We checked in with writer friends in the industry to get the real scoop on how Yahoo! works. Content production is quite active, but not much is coming from Yahoo!, unless it's Yahoo! Finance, News, or in their new section, Yahoo! Originals. Yahoo! Originals seems to (at moment) feature politics, severe weather, highly trending topics, and sponsored content.
"For everything else," says an editor who works for one of Yahoo!'s partner sites: "Yahoo! develops partnership deals with other sites through which they secure syndication rights for other companies' content. However, this is where it gets a little weird..."
Turns out, Yahoo! editors do ask for something specific around a general theme, like “fall recipes using pumpkins” from these partner websites, and get sent in a lot of pitches (aka story article ideas) from the writers who are on staff or permalance or in contract with those other publications. Yahoo! selects which pitches it wants written, and then those articles get published - get this - at the other websites (depending on the partner…not all of their partnerships work this way). However, an article that does work this way would also be displayed at Yahoo! as syndicated content with a link back to where that content was published.
"For instance," the editor explained, "a story on the 'Top 10 Fitness Moves for Flat Abs' may have originally been published on a partner site, but Yahoo! asked for that particular piece of content to be pitched, assigned, and written in the first place.”
What Does This Mean For Business Owners?
Yahoo! is a mirror website - reflecting content (often times) it commissioned to other publications to write. It's a win-win for everyone, has a handful of original content published at its website. Because it features links to other websites, there is lots more exposure for articles at other publications, however. What is our takeaway as business owners, artists and makers wanting to be featured in an article (or the headline of an article) at Yahoo!?
Study the publications that Yahoo! republishes, and the writers who wrote those articles.
Pitch the writers about your business or expertise, to get on their radar. Tin Shingle's recommendation has always been to stay in good graces - and on the radar - with writers. When a writer gets assigned a story to write, they are quick out of the gate to find the source to quote, or place or product to recommend.
Contributing Writers Are Gold Nuggets
Tin Shingle has a new section in our Media Contacts Database that is specific to Contributing Writers. We are building it out, but it lists writers as themselves - which doesn't really change as they move from job to job.
Writers continue to write for multiple publications - some never listed in their bios because they forget to update their websites, or other databases.
Get fresh ideas for who these writers are, and keep track in your own PR Planning & Media Tracking Sheet that you can download from Tin Shingle. Download it, plus Media Contacts, at Tin Shingle’s website.
To learn more about how to pitch Yahoo!, visit this article in Tin Shingle’s “Ask the Experts” section.