I was all set to write an article predicting the future of search engines, when Yahoo dropped Google and replaced it with its own engine. Now that’s big news. In less than twenty-four hours, Google went from about 79% of the market share to about 51%, almost overnight. And what a welcome relief it is too! Being #1 in Google was great, but when you had the misfortune of dropping even a couple of positions you really felt it. Now there will be more stability; if you drop in Google today, your hits from Yahoo will remain consistent.
What is the new Yahoo?
Last year, Yahoo bought the AltaVista, Fast, and Inktomi search engines. The new Yahoo results are none of these. Many people are saying that the results come from a new Inktomi because the results are similar; but the results are also similar to all the other search engines out there. In comparing these engines, it seems to me that Yahoo’s results are from a brand new engine. Maybe they took parts and ideas from all the search engines they bought – maybe they even took the best parts – , but whatever they did, the result is something completely new.
Which search engine is better?
I will be comparing Google and Yahoo for the terms “music”, “art prints and posters”, “Bahamas real estate”, “mosquito nets”, and “liposuction”. The other search engines all hold less than 4% of the market share (except for MSN which uses Yahoo’s Inktomi), so I won’t be considering them. Here is what I found in the top 10 results for each keyphrase:
Yahoo offers a lot of music resource sites. Information about music from different sources such as magazine, TV and other music news sites are found 6 times in the top 10 results. It also offered downloading and file sharing programs 3 times. The 10th result was an audio player program site.
Google has a lot more diversity. There were 3 music resource sites (but no magazines), one downloading program, one CD store, one radio station (Yahoo radio), one music directory, and the 10th result was an audio player program site. Google also had 2 sites in its top ten that were of no value whatsoever; MP3.com which just has one page stating that they no longer offer the services that they used to (with links to their parent company), and music.com, which is nothing more than an email gathering site for a newsletter (not a single link on the entire page).
Google’s diversity is a big bonus, but the 2 spam/junk/useless sites really hurt it. The results? Yahoo 1, Google 0.
Art Prints And Posters