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Yahoo Buying Inktomi 194

soldack writes "Byte And Switch has a story about Yahoo buying Inktomi. I imagine they will stop using Google. What does this mean for both Google and Yahoo? How much of Google's traffic came from Yahoo? How much is going to come from AOL using Google?" markpapadakis adds a link to CNET's story on same.
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Yahoo Buying Inktomi

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  • interesting (Score:2, Interesting)

    How large is Inktomi, and how well does it index the pages?
    • Re:interesting (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      inktomi uses paid inclusion, which means top results have been paid for, unlike google, which gives you true results
    • Well it looks like Inktomi includes "PAID INCLUSION" in their searches. I am thinking that means websites that pay INKTOMI will be ranked higher than ones who do not.

      Sounds pretty crappy to me just on that point.
      The web should be less money oriented and more people oriented. Let the people decide what is relevant to a particular search, and not a bunch of corporations directing your searches their way. Bullshit.

  • Which is approximately as news-worthy.
    • Re:I'm Buying Beer (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aengblom ( 123492 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:45PM (#4946320) Homepage
      Which is approximately as news-worthy.

      Yahoo is one of Google's biggest customers--not only in the somewhat significant "hits" catagory, but the more important "licensing" catagory. Yahoo pays Google real cash--and this helps Google.

      However, Yahoo is also one of Google's biggest customers. Eventually this was going to come to and end--and it just did IMO.

      I'm sure many if not most of people looking to search will head to Google, but the Yahoo partnership was/is a boon for Google.

      To me, Yahoo just called for a fight.
  • Yahoo's relevance (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoctorPhish ( 626559 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:26PM (#4946177) Homepage
    Does Yahoo still control a majority of users? I would have expected that MSN would have the greatest portal penetration simply by being the default home-page under windows, and most people I know have been using Google for their searching for a couple of years now (And I mean non-technical users)...Is Yahoo even that relevant any more?
    • Yahoo still has a very strong community built around it, it may not be the best, the fastest or the prettiest, but it's where their friends are and have been for years now.

    • by fleener ( 140714 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:32PM (#4946224)
      I suspect Yahoo is coasting on its prior popularity. In the early days Yahoo was "it." Everyone recommended Yahoo. It's been a couple years since I've heard anyone recommend Yahoo. It's all Google now. Free e-mail? Yes. Web portal? No.

      When Yahoo infused its front page with several hundred links it took a pummeling to the head. When it started charging to add businesses to its link directory it knocked itself out.
      • >>When Yahoo infused its front page

        Lately the only thing infused into yahoos front page is dancing shockwave ads!

        • Lately the only thing infused into yahoos front page is dancing shockwave ads!

          I left Yahoo! as my front page when a flock of javascript birds [turboads.com] flew down from the top banner ad to a side banner ad.

          Since then it's been Google, and one of these days I'll slap together my own little portal with quick links for searching and news headlines.
          • If you're a Windows user, try Proxomitron [proxomitron.org]. It's a free filter that can block banner ads, Flash ads, sounds, pop-ups and many other really annoying things.

            I'm shocked these days when I use a terminal that doesn't have Proxomitron filtering because then I realize just how crappy a place the web has become. I pity anyone who consumes the web raw.
        • In Soviet Russia, all your base are belong to a Beowulf cluster. Profit!

          Hats off to that mans sig :) How to combine 4 Slashdotisms to form one still funny sig :)
          I sir, salute you.
        • I know what you mean. I tried to read an article today and found it impossible because of the danged ad flashing off to the side. Do you think my viewing their ads is worth more to them than my paying my monthly domain fee?
      • even that I can't earnestly recommend anymore. I simply don't trust them anymore. I'd much rather use a smalltime one that isn't targeted by spammers, preferrably something outside the US, esp. something based in Hong Kong. Less worries about changes of service to comply with government regulations.
        • Which web-based e-mail do you use now? I'd gladly dump Yahoo if there was a marketing-free alternative that also happens to auto-insert your cursor into the login box. That cursor treatment is important because it's annoying having to grab the mouse.
        • Actually, I for one am extremely pleased by yahoo's spam filter. I get significantly less spam than most other people I know, it all goes straight to my frequently dumped spambox.-Ryan
      • I still suggest yahoo to people but perhaps I should be recommending the open link directory now? I still use yahoo quite a bit but it does seem like it's less useful than it should be these days.
      • I stopped using Yahoo when they decided advertisers were their "real" customers. The search box is this little tiny thing in the corner now -- but wouldn't you rather hear about this exciting new MusicLaunch event?!

        When they started that ad campaign advertising, literally, "content", I knew they were heading for a fall. "Sign up for SBC-Yahoo and get exciting content, now!" Advertising using terminology that resonates with management and not the general public is a big sign that the company has totally lost touch. Bye-bye.

    • Yahoo's strength is the reputation of its directory. As far as the directory is concerned, Yahoo is still king of the hill. DMoz is great, but Yahoo's directory is more exclusive, and harder to get into. Which means that if a link is in Yahoo, it's got a very high chance of being a quality site.

      And search results get shown whenever nothing is found in the directory that matches the user's search. In other words, anyone coming to Yahoo for the directory may stay for the search.

      I know that my google-listed site gets about as much traffic from Yahoo-ed searches as it does directly from Google. Plus Yahoo shows 20 results per page, so more results are on the ever-important "first page".

      I know I will be sorry to see Yahoo move to Inktomi.

    • Sure.. as of October, according to this page [com.com], Yahoo searches/google searches/MSN searches were about equal in popularity here in the US. Of course, all three are/were powered by google.
      • If that's the case, why are MSN Searches so goddamn useless? I'm not trolling. I'm serious. I spend a good bit of time drilling into people "If you want to search, go to w-w-w dot g-o-o-g-l-e dot com and quit clicking on that useless Search button".
        For probably 80% of the stuff I search for, I'll get a different "top 10" result from MSN Search compared to google (and, of course, google's top 10 usually has the page I want). MSN Search makes nice thumbnails of the page, yes (and bloody useful that is on a 28.8 modem connection!), but invariably the first few pages of results will be junk.
        Do MSN Searches include paid-for results or something? Or do they use an older index?
  • Time to stop using Yahoo I guess...

    I haven't used anything but Google in a while...even got Searchling (search MacUpdate...or Google for it) to have Google search in my OS X menu bar.

    If Yahoo stops using Google, I just won't have any reason to go there anymore. Google is the de facto standard now.

    • Time to stop using Yahoo I guess...
      I haven't used anything but Google in a while

      So the time to stop using yahoo was some time ago, so you stopped then, but it's time to stop now? I'm confused. Who's supposed to stop doing what now?

      If Yahoo stops using Google, I just won't have any reason to go there anymore.

      So why are you using them now? Can't get enough banner ads?

      • It is indeed possible to have more than one search site. In fact, I have a stable of them. Google of course, Teoma, Hotbot, and several others.

        Yahoo I have continued to use for the "My Yahoo!" functionality, and while I was there, I could search for something and get Google results. If this goes to Inktomi, then I'll get my "My Yahoo" functionality elsewhere--like you say...to avoid the banner ads.

    • Time to stop using Yahoo I guess...

      I haven't used anything but Google in a while...even got Searchling (search MacUpdate...or Google for it) to have Google search in my OS X menu bar.

      Lets see, you read this, then you stop using Yahoo! "awhile ago". Sound like you've been "Back to the Future!"

      I use Yahoo! for Maps [yahoo.com], Stock Quotes [yahoo.com] and Games [yahoo.com]. Haven't searched for anything with it since '98.
  • okay ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SuperDuG ( 134989 ) <(kt.celce) (ta) (eb)> on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:27PM (#4946187) Homepage Journal
    Here's what I don't get, back when Yahoo (tm) wanted to expand its search horizan it used inktomi, then moved to altavista, then to google. If inktomi was so wonderful then why on earth was superceded?

    Altavista made it big with babelfish (it's quite possibly the only translator I use). Google made it big with speed, pdf to html (plus pdf searches), cached pages, etc etc.

    Seems to me yahoo is more of a "portal" loosely than a search engine anymore, but I can't remember the last time I heard anyone say "I found [insert whatever] on inktomi" at least not in the last 6 years.

    My take, google will be fine, I can't begin to name the number of computers I see with google.com as their homepage (more than slashdot).

    • I can't remember the last time I heard anyone say "I found [insert whatever] on inktomi" at least not in the last 6 years.

      Have you heard "found $foo on hotbot"? Until recently, when HotBot switched to a choice of four different engines, HotBot used Inktomi as its search engine. HotBot still offers Inktomi as its default search engine.

      I can't begin to name the number of computers I see with google.com as their homepage (more than slashdot).

      EarthLink Network gives its subscribers start.earthlink.net by default, which has a nice Google searchbox right in the middle of the page.

    • by markhb ( 11721 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:36PM (#4946256) Journal
      Inktomi gave up their general full-Web search years ago, in favor of selling embedded search services / software to Web site owners. If you look at their site, they also promote their expertise in the second-ickiest of Internet businesses: search engine placement. Yahoo has probably decided that the Inktomi search software is the best available for outright purchase, especially with their ad-placement programs in place.
    • > Here's what I don't get, back when Yahoo (tm) wanted to expand its search horizan it used inktomi, then moved to altavista, then to google. If inktomi was so wonderful then why on earth was superceded?

      Easy. They compared their traffic from the Inktomi days with their current logs, and decided that the slight increase in traffic isn't worth the extra cost of their Google subscription. So they are selling the Rolls Royce and switching back to their Ford Pinto.

      Yahoo knows that Google is better than Inktomi, but they've calculated that the extra traffic isn't justifying the extra bill.

    • Here's what I don't get, back when Yahoo (tm) wanted to expand its search horizan it used inktomi, then moved to altavista, then to google. If inktomi was so wonderful then why on earth was superceded?

      This could be explained by a business change at Yahoo. It may be the case that Yahoo had previously structured their business model to outsource their searching, seeing it as secondary to the rest of their business. Now, they may want to bring search-engine software in-house, and they probably still have people working there who are familiar with Inktomi's tech.

      Disclaimer: I used to work at Inktomi.

    • I use phoenix and Mozilla. They support multiple homepages. I open my browser, and google and slashdot come up on different tabs. very convenient for me. Horrah for Mozilla and friends. oh yeah. Fuck Yahoo.
  • Impact on google traffic? Que?

    Is anybody still using Yahoo then? In internet time Yahoo is almost a dinosaur, Google is the warm blooded animal that has almost overtaken the whole world.

    An advice to Yahoo: do something!! Don't just sit there being a website with pretty links, that doesn't cut it anymore these days...

    • Don't just sit there being a website with pretty links

      I wonder what was the last time you looked at Yahoo!. It's my yellow pages, it's my newspaper, it's for online-games for my wife. And yes, for websearching I use Google.
  • that yahoo used to use Inktomi before they bought google.
  • motivation? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by smd4985 ( 203677 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:33PM (#4946232) Homepage
    does anyone else think yahoo made this move because google has become a bit more of a portal of late, i.e. google news? there is no doubt google has the superior search technology, but i think yahoo is a little upset that google seems to be trying to be more than 'just search'.

    it'll be interesting to see if any overt enmity develops between these two stanford-born businesses....
    • I, too, am bothered that Google is trying to be more than 'just search.' In five years Google may be as irrelevant as Yahoo is today. Evil is growing behind that colorful clownish logo.

      People are oblivious to the feature creep right now because they see it as related to search, or just find the new services useful. It will become bloat when Google tries to be all things to all people. Google has that in its blood. Our honeymoon with Google will not last.
      • I am afraid Google has to evolve and offer new services and also figures out new ways to have more revenues, otherwise it will just stall and becomes quickly irrelevant. It can't just stay as a search engine forever. I only hope it will find the right balance to not lose its soul.
      • Feature creep is only bad when necessary focus on the existing product and its features is lost. The current Google Search product development is essentially stagnant, and rightly so. Other than the occassional maintenance and search algorithm tweaking, I don't really want Google's Search to change much.

        Who cares of Google adds a few more tabs that I don't have to click on (but usually do). New features that you don't use aren't "bloat" when they're inconspicuous and harmless.

        Their addition of AdWords and the Web Developer API shows that they're committed to adding new search-related technology, they're supporting the existing infrastructure, and the search GUI remains uncluttered. What more could we ask for?

        The notion that "evil is growing" is no more applicable to Google than Fruit of the Loom [fruit.com].
      • I, too, am bothered that Google is trying to be more than 'just search.'

        This statement might make sense if we'd already developed the Ultimate Search Technology(tm). The truth is that the current search technology is only a pale shadow of what future search technology will be.

        Also, we haven't even developed the Ultimate Information Organization Technology(tm). So even the UST will have to constantly evolve to remain relevant to the constantly evolving information organization technology.

        I imagine that the organizing and searching technologies will ultimately converge (any sufficiently advanced database will be indistinguishable from a perfect search engine). I also imagine that the first company to "leverage the synergy" of these two symbiotic technologies will become very poweful indeed. I imagine, finally, that most of Google's "feature creep" is actually the prototyping of more advanced information-organization and information-retrieval technologies. I don't think it's even a question of "more bells and whistles to keep ahead of the competion", so much as "developing the next-generation technology while our competitors are still trying to catch up with the current generation".

        But these are all imaginings. Only Google really knows what it's doing. But considering how smart they've been so far, it doesn't seem reasonable to assume they're suddenly going to start being stupid, though.

    • Google seems to be extending the "just the search results, ma'am" model futher than just news.

      Froogle the first shopping engine I've seen in years that isn't trying to sell you anything. Sponors can pay for the right to show up as a side bar, but the first search result is going to be what Google found as the best match for your request.

      Instead of creating communities of its own, Google bought out DejaNews's database and has provided a simple web interface for USENET's newsgroups.

      They have a Yahoo like directory, but it's the Open Directory Project sorted by Google pageranks.

      Google is slowly growing to be the size of Yahoo, but they're staying true to their orignal vision of simplicity and unintrusive ads, rather than feeling the pressures to do anything to keep the stock price up.
    • Google provides content specific searches. For example www.google.com/linux is a linux specific search engine. Google news is no different, it's just that the web, image, and news searches are the most popular so that's why they're somewhat grouped together. And until we see "Google weather" I won't consider it a portal.
    • I doubt the reason is Google's branching out into news/catalogs/etc. All these additional services Google is providing, are nothing but new ways of searching through others' content. None of it is google-branded content, which could have been seen by Yahoo as competition.

      A more likely reason is probably economical. Google *IS* top dog of the search engine world, and as such it may have been asking for more money than Yahoo was prepared to pay. Remember, Yahoo's main draw is not its web-wide search engine, but its highly moderated Web directory.

      As such, it may make sense for them to make a one-off purchase of inktomi, and save themselves the cost of continual lisencing of Google's results.

    • The answer is probably found by following the money. I always thought that Google as a business was focused on selling its search technology to other businesses. Making search technolgies that can search 'the web' well, while a rewarding and complex problem, is largely a 'solved' technolgy problem.

      Making search technologies that can intelligently solve much more complicated search problems (eg, finding pictures, finding shopping items, etc) is a far more complex problem with huge potential payouts as a technology.

      The portal is just a convenient way to aggregate the public testing of their technologies..
  • I worship the Google-god, but I seldom use Yahoo for anything. Yahoo is a big ugly portal. Even if it uses Google, or Inktomi, or whatever, why would I use that when I can just go to Google's site and gain access to a search engine without a big ugly portal site?

    I think this ends up being just about as pointless as the relaunch of HotBot... which was pretty pointless. ;)

  • But lately, they have gotten desprate (with the fall out of the Internet advertising market). Annoying Flash ads and Popus are all over Yahoo. They even added banners to Yahoo IM (and some of them are HUGE).

    Long live banner free Google!

  • by seldolivaw ( 179178 ) <me.seldo@com> on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:37PM (#4946264) Homepage
    Google's pagerank algorithm suite is unmatched for searches "in the wild". It uses links between pages to work out search relevance. However, that algorithm is totally inappropriate for providing search within Yahoo's own categorised database; Inktomi's engine is precisely suited for such a task. Yahoo has been using Google and Inktomi's search tech for external and internal searches, respectively, for a while now. I see no reason for Yahoo's buyout to change this. I imagine Yahoo would buy Google too, if it could.
    • I came up with an approach for combining categories and link ranking over a year ago. Unfortunately I gave the idea to Looksmart's management, who gave me a severance check a month or two later.

      There are a number of ways in which "known good" listings can be combined with crawled sites using link ranking. One is simply to give the listed sites a high static ranking, putting them before any crawled sites in the search results. If the crawled sites are being supplied on a pay-per-search basis (such as when Google or Inktomi are supplying the "backfill" on a CPM basis), this approach can save a good deal of money, and it's simple enough for management to understand.

      Another is to give the listed sites an artificially high pagerank, and allow it to percolate out to linked pages, thereby boosting not only listed homepages, but deeper links in the same site, and nearby linked pages as well. This method leverages the labor of human-ranking pages, yielding a large number of related pages which are probably also on-topic and of decent quality. Kleinberg proposed something similar when he designed the HITS algorithm, as a method of automatically populating web directory categories.
  • Ideas (Score:5, Informative)

    by mugnyte ( 203225 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @03:38PM (#4946266) Journal
    Inktomi's current customers [inktomi.com]

    Yahoo would be well-served building a cross-reference ranking from Google + Inktomi's results. Most of my searches are quite pointed anyway though, so I'm not sure how this could be improved.

    Go try the Hotbot [hotbot.com] or MSN [msn.com] searches yerself. This may well be the future rankings on Yahoo results.

    As a trial, I searched for "Oklahoma Dry Spell" and although there was one coinciding match in the top 2, the rest were completely different. It seems Inktomi is a bit more relaxed for inclusions. (14,888 vs Yahoo's 12,800).

    For one of the myriad of search engine reviews comparing (roughly) Inktomi and Yahoo/Google, see this page [searchenginewatch.com]

    • Actually, the new Hotbot doesn't blend Inktomi, Google and the others, it gives you a tab interface so you can quickly retry your search with other engines without having to retype it. Not as useful as what you're suggesting.
  • ... when Google is going to start offering Instant Messenger services and web-based email. I love Google for anything search related, and wouldn't mind staying with Google for the other online services I require. On the day Google offers email and IM services, I will quit using Yahoo completely.

    Until then, yes, I do "Yahoo".
    • ... when Google is going to start offering Instant Messenger services and web-based email.

      Google's strength has come from sticking to one thing and doing it well. Google does searches and does them better than anyone else. It's that sort of focus and simplicity that other companies lack. If Google started offering portal-like services such as email and chat I would definitely use them (because I know that the quality would be great); however, I rather hope that Google doesn't fall to the temptation of branching out and thus risks its strength.
      • Ahh, but how many people use Yahoo's search rather than Google's simply because Yahoo is their email, instant messenger, chat room, and game playing place? Would you rather go to a new web page for your searches or quick-click an interface link to get that search?

        Google loses ad revenue when people do not use Google; one way to make sure people use Google is to offer free services people need online, like instant messaging and email.

        And yes, Google-based IM and Email would indeed be outstanding quality. :)
  • I use google not because it gives better results but because i really like the adfree slick interface. Google is user oriented and hasnt fallen into factored searches yet. I think Yahoo needs to get back to basics again and focus on users needs. There are much left to do in search engines left and advertising is not what people using them are after.
    • While one of Google's main strong point is the lack of ads, I doubt it would be as popular as it is if it did not return such high quality results.

      Secondly, as I understand it, Inktomi actually has 2 primary search engines. One is geared towards business use and the other towards consumers (which they got from a recent company they acquired). According to reports Yahoo is basically interested in the business search engine and not the consumer one.

      Lastly, I don't see how Yahoo does not focus on users needs. I believe they offer a great suite of online applications, many of them being free. I would disagree if you believe that just because they engage in online advertising that they are not focusing on users.
    • Google is not entirely ad or factored search free, you know. Next time you search, note all those ads in the upper right corner of your page, as well as the 3 or 4 lines at the top of the results portion of the page.

      They're called "sponsored links", but they're ads just the same.

      In Google's defense, they're ads the way they *should* be done. Pure text. No popups. No annoying flash animations walking in from the side of the screen.

      But they *are* ads.
  • When it comes down to it, the company's who "Get it" will be the ones that succeed. No one wants their search engine to be throwing 3.6 pop-ups per second at them. Google will (hopefully) prosper because it does things the "right" way.

    I guess there have been companies that "get it" that failed... but that's usually due to some other dumb business practice.
  • I thought Yahoo used Inktomi. I must say, though, I never use Yahoo to search, even though they do use Google, because the features aren't as good as going straight to Google. I only use Yahoo for a free email box I don't mind being loading with spam and to check news.

  • "Inktomi? What's that???"

    5 years from now people will be saying "Yahoo!? What's that???"
    • Inktomi never marketed itself to consumers. They tried to be a B2B player, offering a search engine to those who couldn't build one while offering only a "Hi, we're Inktomi" site instead of an engine at Inktomi.com.

      Therefore, nobody other than geeks are likely to have heard of them in the first place.
  • "The transaction reflects an aggregate purchase price of approximately $235 million..."

    Where the hell did Yahoo come up with $235 million in cash?
    • Yahoo was always one of the few .coms to turn a profit. They still do turn a good profit.

    • Re:Yahoo has money? (Score:3, Informative)

      by intuition ( 74209 )
      As of Sept 30, 2002 Yahoo had :

      $319,319,000 Cash and Cash Equivalents

      $936,534,000 Total Current Assets

      $276,035,000 Accounts Payable

      $420,386,000 Total Current Liabilities
    • "Where the hell did Yahoo come up with $235 million in cash?"

      You are joking right? I don't even care to provide you info, like Yahoo floats on $$$ cash for years.

      Even their worst times, they had $2 billion in hand.
  • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @04:01PM (#4946439) Journal
    Yahoo needs Google more than Google needs Yahoo. Google is one of the few sites on the internet that could go subscription only and still do very well long term. If Yahoo goes subscription for all of its services, people will just move on to another portal. Sure I love that Google is free, but considering how useful Google is I would certainly pay say $19 or more a year for its services. In fact I couldn't imagine an Internet without Google, I'm too reliant on it to go without it. I've tried some of the newer search engines, but really none of them are even close to being as accurate as Google. I'd rather go back to surfing the web with Mosaic than give up Google.

    • Well, you may just live long enough to make that decision.

      Google would be wise to wait this out and see how sponsored and messy Yahoo's searches are. If their page hit go up because of that, why not go fee-based? Because...

      The majority of internet users, though, want their access fee to "pay" for all content. I'm a fan of this, personally. I'd pay an extra $10 a month for a basket of web sites that are otherwise a bit more expensive on the pay-per-use side (Google + Salon + ?).

      Until then, Google wouldn't dare give up casual browsers to Yahoo's (or anyone's) potentially junky search. Most surfers don't know the difference; they go with whomever was on "on the funny commercial on the TV" = Yahoooooooo

  • Recently Inktomi bowed out of the cache server business. They cited a number of reasons including considerably reduced revenues from cache software business... but I can't help but wonder if this really was the case of if Inktomi's core competency wasn't search engines. I hope that Yahoo considers reviving the Inktomi cache server systems.
  • AOL teamed up with Inktomi [com.com] in early 2000 to go head-to-head vs. Akamai [com.com] in the content distribution business. So this might be a bit more than just search engine stuff.
  • by esconsult1 ( 203878 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @04:40PM (#4946745) Homepage Journal
    The reason why they bought Inktomi, is because of the revenue that can make from it.

    Inktomi sells inclusion [inktomi.com] in their results to paying customers. Many results that you normally click on in MSN or other Inktomi distribution partners cost money to the advertiser (about 10 cents each click and up).

    To be fair to Inktomi, while they charge for inclusion, your site is still ranked for relevance, so there is no guarantee that your paid links will filter to the top of a search. This is all a Cost-per-Click (CPC) model, or a one time fee for inclusion over a set period of time.

    How does this affect Google?
    Remember that Google makes their money from search distribution and their sponsored listings. In the short term, it hurts Google a little bit, because they won't be getting paid from Yahoo for that distribution, if Yahoo decides not to use Google in the future. In the long term it does not matter much, because Google's long term revenue model/strategy is the Sponsored Listings (which are being shown at AOL and a variety of their partners [google.com]), which Yahoo was not displaying at all. So even if Yahoo were sending 1 billion searches over to Google, none of those are monetized at all.

    How will this affect Yahoo?
    Over the long term, Yahoo will make more money from this deal, than by using Google's results, because many of the clickthrough's in their standard search (again.. if they use Inktomi instead of Google for that), will provide some CPC revenue for them. They basically want to monetize the standard search results, and the Inktomi acquisition will help them to do that.

  • by K-Man ( 4117 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @04:49PM (#4946809)
    Search engines are being bought up left and right, and the price keeps going up.

    Teoma [teoma.com] bought by Ask Jeeves ($4M).

    Wisenut [wisenut.com] bought by Looksmart ($9M).

    Inktomi [inktomi.com] bought by Yahoo ($235M).

    Ask Jeeves realized its search technology didn't work, and bought Teoma. Looksmart, now a "search placement" provider, realized no one would look at its commercial listings if they didn't give users some non-commercial search content as well. Yahoo seems to have come to the same conclusion, after farming out to google, etc. If they want to make revenue, they seem to have realized that they have to invest in some original technology.
  • I don't get it. Verity (another search engine company) bought inktomi [bizjournals.com] like two weeks ago. What gives?


  • Well, in my case Yahoo's Google results give me about 11% of my traffic, with MSN (i.e. Inktomi at 5%).
  • Hunh! (Score:2, Funny)

    by HelbaSluice ( 634789 )
    Am I the only one for whom search engine wars feel charmingly retro? How 90's!
  • History ... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by __aadkms7016 ( 29860 ) on Monday December 23, 2002 @05:24PM (#4947137)
    One lasting contribution Inktomi made
    was validating Networks of Workstations
    in a commercial context. Remember, at the
    time they started, the chief competition
    was (DEC-era) AltaVista, which used
    the search engine as an example application
    for multi-way SMP boxes. Today, you don't
    see >2-way SMP used in massive deployments
    of applications that are easy to parallelize,
    but back when Inktomi started NoW's were novel.
  • not surprising (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jacquesm ( 154384 ) <j@wPLANCKw.com minus physicist> on Monday December 23, 2002 @05:33PM (#4947216) Homepage
    Google is rapidly making inroads into Yahoo's core business, besides search they now have a news portal, their shopping site is up and running (www.froogle.com) no doubt soon they will launch a community of sorts. Contrary to Yahoo their business models are well thought out and non-intrusive from an end users perspective. In short, they rock and Yahoo doesn't and the more the two are seen side by side the more clear that is. In Yahoos eyes google is a very large threat.
    • I think this is not a big deal to yahoo, tho strategically it might be on their radar. Why?
      1. I just looked at the froogle [froogle.com] site and although it's neat, it's missing a lot of very important features that shopping.yahoo.com [yahoo.com] does have. Like "sort by price" (that's critical for any serious net-shopper) and merchant ratings (tho the rating system at yahoo isn't quite fully visible like on ebay/amazon)
      2. shopping.yahoo.com has independent "shopping" sites, much like what amazon and half.com are doing. In this case, unless Google plans on actually developing a network of independent sellers using their site technology, they're not going to dent much of Yahoo's marketshare in that area.
    • I'm sorry, but Froogle needs rapid and deep improvement before yahoo shopping, amazon, and ebay need to feel even remotely threatened.
  • Inktomi's founders, Paul Gauthier and Eric Brewer were the grad student/professor team that coined the original idea behind the company. Gauthier should be around 29-30 years old now, and I think he sold out near the top of the bubble or sometime after that. He's still in Fortune's "40 richest Americans under 40" list. I think Brewer is still with the company, but what is Gauthier doing? Does anybody know?

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