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The Internet Businesses

Yahoo! Switches Search Engines 395 395

Giorgio Baresi writes "As several sources are reporting, Yahoo! in the last hours dumped Google and rolled out a brand new search engine mainly based on Inktomi search technology and Overture sponsored results. On Monday Yahoo! also launched its own crawler, called "Yahoo! Slurp", which replaced former "Inktomi Slurp". Hey, it seems the search engine war has begun!"
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Yahoo! Switches Search Engines

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  • by The One KEA (707661) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @10:53AM (#8315489) Journal
    Yahoo has been talking about dumping Google for a real long time now, so I doubt Google is really surprised. Besides, with the recent update [slashdot.org] to their index that they just made, I have a feeling that Google is not going to succumb just yet.
  • by naoiseo (313146) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @10:54AM (#8315502)
    It's been live for about 6 months in some parts of the world.

    I still have google results, but can see the new ink results by appending &tmpl=E088 on the end of the SERP url.

  • by bstil (652204) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @10:59AM (#8315555)
    Yahoo has gone so far as to imitate Google's search results design:

    title: blue, size +1
    excerpts: two lines
    date: green, size: green, "cached" link: gray, etc.

    Yahoo does not have a time stamp for pages, but everything else looks very similar!
  • Yahoo is Inktomi (Score:5, Informative)

    by Soukyan (613538) * on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:00AM (#8315559)
    Yahoo! has owned Inktomi since March of 2003 so the name change is cosmetic issue. As to dropping Google, it was only a matter of time. I'm thinking Yahoo!'s Paid Inclusion Services to their search engine technology is making a tidy profit. The problem? Their search technology still doesn't appear to be as reliable, accurate or quick as Google.
  • by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:01AM (#8315564) Journal
    Hmm... I just have a feeling they did and that it sucked. :-) But it seems Inktomi recently released Web Search 9 [inktomi.com] of their search engine (version 9?) and this change by Yahoo! seems to coincide with that one well enough that they might use some brand new engine, and not just rolling back to some old pre-Google quality crap.

    Here's by the way the press release, which I think should have been linked to from the /. article at least:
    Yahoo Press Release [yahoo.com]
  • Re:Result relevance (Score:5, Informative)

    by costas (38724) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:12AM (#8315693) Homepage
    Well, the good news is that Yahoo is trying to innovate, which in turn should push Google even further. For example, Yahoo is now linking directly to RSS feeds if you are using RSS-autodiscovery within your page's HTML. That's pretty cool.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:14AM (#8315715)
    uhh, do search.yahoo.com

    Thanks,
  • by rm007 (616365) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:15AM (#8315728) Journal
    Technology Review [technologyreview.com] has a discussion of the coming rivals to Googol in this month's issue. One of them is an Australian outfit called Mooter [mooter.com] which does some nifty clustering of results (somewhat familiar to those who remember Northern Light [northernlight.com], once a web search engine, now a provider of enterprise search engines). They discuss several others, including efforts by Microsoft, but the general point is that Googol (and Yahoo and Alta Vista etc. before it) have shown the search business to be a very profitable area if you are the leader, so there are a lot of eager pretenders to the throne. Competition is good, web users will end up with better searching, whether from Googol or another provider.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:17AM (#8315742)
    Yahoo uses it's own flavor of freeBSD (ybsd) for almost everything, though there may be other types of boxen in use for search.
  • by bad-badtz-maru (119524) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:22AM (#8315801) Homepage
    There seems to be some confusion as to what is meant by "paid inclusion". It doesn't mean that you pay to get your site listed higher. It means that you pay to get a specific page spidered more often. That's all. If you don't pay, your site still gets listed - and PFI sites don't rank any higher than non-PFI sites.
  • Re:I love Google. (Score:5, Informative)

    by sugar and acid (88555) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:22AM (#8315802)
    >Other than selling services to corporations and little text >ads, how does Google make money?

    Ummm by selling services to corporations and little text ads. Googles advertising model is a very good way to make money on the internet by servicing both types of customers well, the normal google user and the advertisers.

    Why, well the text ads are unobtrusive and obvious as advertisement links, and often welcome by the searcher. Why are they welcome, because they relate directly to the search term used. So you search for widgets, and widget inc. pays to put themselves on the first search page. The company gets trade, and the customer gets what they are looking for. In the real world this is the equivalent to the yellowpages directory where companies pay money to be listed with a small advert under a relevant indexed title like plumber or something.

    So why does google have to be number one, because the more eyeballs they have the more money they can charge for an ad and the more companies that will be clamouring to get their little ad link under the "widgets" search term. Again for the yellowpages, in the US ever seen those ads from one or the other yellowpages directory saying that they are the preferred yellowpages by consumers, they are advertsising to potential advertisers in their directory implying that you will get the most value if you advertise in our directory and not the competitions. Same reasons google needs to be number one to maximise their profit.
  • Re:Actually... (Score:3, Informative)

    by kevin_ka (753643) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:27AM (#8315850) Journal
    I just watched the Part again and Yoda defently says: "Begun, the clone war has."
    sry no this
  • by ravydavygravy (230429) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:29AM (#8315877) Homepage
    Also, what is the basis of a search engine?

    Well, the paper from 98 that describes the PageRank algorithm (as used by Google) can be found here [nec.com]

    Theres a simple explanation of various indexing/ranking schemes here [searchenginewatch.com], but if you really want to get up to speed on research into searching the web, try looking at some of the papers from the TREC Web Track [csiro.au]

    Happy reading,

    Dave
  • by Freedom Bug (86180) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:32AM (#8315900) Homepage
    Once we have viable competitors to Google, savvy people will prefer the viable competitors. Why? Although Google has done a good job keeping ahead of the optimizers, the best way to avoid optimizers will be to use the competition. So unless you like your first 20 results to be filled with the commercial, optimized, sites, you may be better off using Google competition than using Google.

    Bryan
  • by zach_smith (159760) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:36AM (#8315929)
    If you really care whether or not they track you, then you should read about the cookie [google-watch.org] Google sets with a unique ID number. I personally don't care, but it would be interesting to have access to such data if it exists.
  • by Gorath99 (746654) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:40AM (#8315970)
    Just follow the link near the top of the page and you'll get here [google.com], which is recruiting page from which they link to the britney page.
  • by ViolentGreen (704134) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:44AM (#8315994)
    Well I know for that google uses thousands of linuxs machines for cost and reliability reasons. I would suspect that yahoo does the same but I can't say for sure.

    I wouldn't think that they would have to replace the hardware but you never know. With the power of todays even bargain machines, I suspect that the bottleneck would be the bandwidth. I could be mistaken though.

    I sat in on a short talk by a guy from google. From what I remember, google has several starting pages for their crawlers. They just travel though all the links of the pages and every subsequent link, recording how many links go to a particular site to use in configuring the sites page rank. This continues until they have a full cached copy of most of the web.

    I haven't checked this site but I found it by googling "how google works". http://www.googleguide.com/google_works.html [googleguide.com]

  • by Alan (347) <arcterexNO@SPAMufies.org> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:55AM (#8316117) Homepage
    Other than the URLs being different, lets see what's the same....

    'cached' link - check

    text ads on right - check

    same color scheme - check

    bold search terms in results list - check

    highlight search terms in cached view - check

    sponsored links on top - check (with more than the one or two that are given on google)

    top menu bar for directory, news, etc - check

    misspelling suggestions - check

    Hmm..... looks like a carbon copy so far. New features?

    add to my yahoo

    view as xml (to suck down rss feeds)

    The 'view as xml' is probably the most interesting to me, but other than that.... well, they've done a good job emulating/copying googles feature set, which is no small task I'll gather. But still....

    Meh.

  • by Popageorgio (723756) <popsnap@gmail.com> on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @11:58AM (#8316148) Homepage
    Yahoo has far more traffic than Google: Alexa says so [alexa.com].

    But under 10% of Yahoo's traffic goes to their search sections: Again, Alexa [alexa.com].

  • by martijnd (148684) * on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @12:11PM (#8316274)
    My (limited) observation is that Googles dominance is limited to the area they are playing in.

    My European websites obtain 90% of their hits from Google.

    My Chinese/Japanese language sites obtain 90% of their hits from the local Yahoo.

    The browser wars are far from over outside of the ASCII 1-128 area.

  • by claar (126368) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @12:22PM (#8316379)
    You made a good decision not installing the Yahoo search bar. I haven't bothered to read why exactly, but the Spybot -- Search & Destroy software labels it and/or its components as spyware.

    For some reason, whenever I run across machines that have the Yahoo Search bar, this lovely "Search Assistant" thing that gives extra pop up windows when searching is on the machines as well..
  • by GoogleGuy (754053) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @12:34PM (#8316487) Homepage
    Hi,

    here's a small tool to compare the search results of Google and Yahoo [googleguy.de].

    Have fun.
  • by 89cents (589228) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @01:25PM (#8317136)
    Google is first result, followed by AltaVista, Dogpile, Hotbot, Lycos, Ask Jeeves...

    Yahoo search comes in at #14!
  • "Futurama Samples" (Score:3, Informative)

    by Gannoc (210256) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @02:00PM (#8317515)

    Try searching for that in google and then do it in yahoo. Looks like Yahoo has pulled ahead until the bastards figure out how to trick the crawler again.

  • by BrewerDude (716509) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:38PM (#8318658)
    Just last night I was reading this article [technologyreview.com] in Technology Review. It talks about the up-and-coming competitors to Google. A little light on the technical details, but a good read none-the-less.
  • by harmonica (29841) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @03:38PM (#8318659)
    I know very few people that still use Yahoo as their first choice in search engines (and I am not talking about computer saavy people either).

    Nonetheless, among search engines it's second only to Google in driving traffic to my site (ok, some people block the referrer, but not many). It isn't much, but it beats the rest of the crowd (Google brings ~45% of all traffic, Yahoo 3.4%, then MSN with 1.5%).
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @08:25PM (#8321699) Homepage
    Hmm, do I detect the acrid scent of mac zealotry? Which version of nmap are you using? Or maybe you just fudged the results. Hey, look, I can do that too!

    Since you ask... I'm sorry that I cut this off to begin with, but when I ran nmap -P0 -O search.yahoo.com:

    Starting nmap 3.48 ( http://www.insecure.org/nmap/ ) at 2004-02-18 10:06 EST

    (The -P0 is necessary because the local university firewall blocks all incoming and outgoing pings.)
    I don't own a Mac, and I don't know anyone who owns a Mac... and I haven't used a Mac since some Apple IIe machines in elementary and middle school. I run an IBM ThinkPad R40 [wfu.edu] slightly modified from the specs listed at that link: an 80 gigabyte hard drive with Fedora Core 1 currently installed.

    Would anyone else with nmap care to confirm or deny my quick exploratory findings, for the benefit of npsimons (32752) and others who are all to quick to invent conspiracy theories implicating Mac-lovers?

  • by hawaiian717 (559933) on Wednesday February 18, 2004 @10:21PM (#8322644) Homepage
    Read Google's Toolbar Privacy Policy [google.com]. The toolbar only sends the URL of the pages you visit to Google if you have the PageRank feature enabled, or you specifically request more information about the page that requires the URL (like Similar Pages).

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