Yahoo! Shortcuts Are Baaaaaaaack….


Unfortunately it seems that pesky remnants of Yahoo! Shortcuts are back! For those of you who are not familiar, Yahoo! Shortcuts once imposed random links around key words within your email to various sites across the web. When Yahoo! Beta came out, we thought we could put those days behind us but we might have celebrated a little too soon.

The good news is that the new behavior is not quite as frustrating because they no longer link to random sites that you may or may not want your readers visiting. However from a coding standpoint, it’s equally as troublesome.

So what’s the “New” behavior?

Now-a-days, Yahoo! seems to target key words or key word combinations – generally within links of your email. It inserts a span within your link with a class of “yshortcuts” – which renders a blue color.  On hover, it renders with a background color and a dotted bottom-border as shown below.

New behavior of Yahoo

So this:

<a href=" ">Kitchen Appliances</a>

Might get converted to:

<a href=" "><span class="yshortcuts">Kitchen Appliances</span></a>

Wheras this:

<a href=" ">click here</a>

Might slip under the radar.

So what’s the fix?

Add this to your embedded CSS:

	span.yshortcuts, a span { color:#000; background-color:none; border:none;} 
	span.yshortcuts:focus {color:#000; background-color:none; border:none;}
	/*add your styling accordingly*/

Another fix is to add a span tag inside each anchor with an inline style:

<a href=" "><span style="color:#000">Kitchen Appliances</span></a>

But this will not resolve the hover issue.

Other Side Effects

We’ve also noticed a glitch when Yahoo! Shortcuts comes into contact with street addresses which results in duplication of content. To learn more on that, check out this article: Stop Yahoo from Displaying your Email Twice

Have you noticed anything strange about Yahoo!? If so, feel free to reach out to our customer support or post your comments below.

Cheers all and happy testing!
Michelle (Miki)

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.

Author: Alex Ilhan

Hailing all the way from England, Alex brings his email development expertise along with an endless stream of cups of tea and British cynicism. Follow him on Twitter: @omgitsonlyalex.

17 thoughts on “Yahoo! Shortcuts Are Baaaaaaaack….”

  1. I saw those shortcuts this weekend when testing an email and was like Yahoo! Come’on Mannnnnnnnnnnn its 2012 leave other peoples content alone dammit.

    Thanks for the tips on how to put the handcuffs on yahoo! shortcut links.

  2. Hello, it seems that adding this line in your style bloc (head of your html e-mail template) works fine :

    a, a span {color:#000;background-color:none;border:none;}


  3. I just noticed these today… changing the style of them seems pretty straightforward, but it’s the actual linking that bothers me, potentially taking a person away from my marketing. Is there a way to disable the shortcut links?

  4. Hey Mike,

    Unfortunately we don’t know of a way to disable them.

    In our testing we haven’t come across a case where the new Yahoo Shortcuts were directing traffic away from your intended websites. Are you saying that you have seen this? If so, feel free to share your text sample and we will investigate further.


  5. Here is the fix: Click on the settings cog next to the applications in the left hand column, then remove the new “Yahoo! Shortcuts By: ysearchdev” done !

  6. @Michelle

    I have see Yahoo! reverting to old behaviour where it inserts links in to text that was not originally a link. The text is styled like the yshortcuts above but the link goes to search results.

  7. That’s a great read, short yet effective! Liked to know about and thank you for sharing your efforts.

  8. I’ve tested that fix and started a preview and it seems that it works only with Yahoo on explorer …. but not on FF or Chrome :-S
    Any ideas ?

  9. Hello,

    i’ve being testing and testing different solutions to disable the Yahoo shortcuts and i still got strange results with Litmus on firefox, chrome and ie. (ex: just 2 or 3 letters in a word switch to blue shortcuts).

    I recently found out that there is no bug with my newsletter ! I’ve just test it with the “real” Yahoo webmail by sending me an html mail via Google Docs

    So here is the deal : Litmus Yahoo preview on firefox, chrome and ie doesn’t display the good render.

    Hope this helps.

  10. “Foo” is absolutely right with their fix, it works! As Foo posted:
    “Here is the fix: Click on the application settings cog (located next to the applications in the left hand column), then remove the new “Yahoo! Shortcuts By: ysearchdev” done!”

    Note: This option is squirreled away on the second page of applications.

  11. I am having trouble with links being created in my titles by yahoo. The titles are not coded as links but after the email is sent to yahoo they become links and upon clicking on them it brings up options to other sites that offer the products we are advertising. Is there any way i can disable the ability of these titles becoming links?

  12. Has anyone had the problem with Yahoo not responding to image resizing in a mobile optimized email? I have one size for the desktop version and one size for the mobile version (same image – different size). I know that Yahoo puts priority on the media query so it displays the mobile version on both mobile an desktop, but my images for mobile in Yahoo are huge because it’s not taking the img width resize.

    Here’s my code:

    table[class=”logo”] img {
    width:300px !important;
    height:133px !important;

    I’ve been trying to find out if this is a known issue and if there’s a workaround, but I can’t find anything about this, which makes me wonder if something may be wrong with my code, but I can’t figure out what it would be.

  13. I’m with (other) Mike — the linking is as much a problem as the formatting.

    A workaround appears to be adding your own link to anything you don’t want Yahoo to link (assuming you can figure out what they might link).

    We have a travel-planning site, and Yahoo was inserting shortcuts into our “invite your friends” transactional email. Example:

    Help Mike plan Hawaii Island Hopping on Planapple — Join here.

    Yahoo was adding a search shortcut to the section, which was confusing recipients.

    Our solution was to repeat our join link within the (and then add a within that to repeat the desired strong inline styles:

    Help Mike plan Hawaii Island Hopping

    (Apparently Yahoo is polite enough not to override existing links with its own shortcuts.)

    We could pretty reliably predict where Yahoo might want to add a shortcut (in our case, anything that might be a travel destination), and in most cases could come up with a reasonable link to add. But it’s another huge pain in building our transactional templates.

    I’d love to find an easier solution. (Foo’s advice is for Yahoo mail users; not for us senders, as far as I can tell.)

  14. @Jenny, I believe Yahoo ignores attribute selectors. In my own case, I’ve found that Yahoo ignores the @media query, and uses the styles that I have for mobile. I had to set all my mobile styles in my media query to use attribute selectores so that Yahoo IGNORES those styles

  15. WOW!! it’s really Backkk 🙂 it’s really works in Yahoo on explorer

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