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Yahoo to Dump Google 280

unassimilatible writes "The Wall Street Journal is reporting (paid subscription required) that Yahoo! plans to dump Google as its primary search technology. In a major revamp, Yahoo will also add personalization and customization features to extend the usefulness of searches and expand its use of "paid inclusion." Yahoo news has picked up the story. Might be time to rethink that IPO."
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Yahoo to Dump Google

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  • Googling it.. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by oateater ( 593228 ) *
    My only question: How will this affect google's searching power?
    • by WesG ( 589258 )
      Google searches will now take 50ms instead of 60ms...
    • Re:Googling it.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:39AM (#7890276)
      Google's search will be just as good as it's always been, the number of times it's used has no impact on how much knowledge it has about the web and what it does about it.
      • Re:Googling it.. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by troll ( 593289 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:03AM (#7890464) Journal
        "the number of times it's used has no impact on how much knowledge it has about the web and what it does about it."

        Thats not entirely true, if you take it the other way. The more popular google became, the more spammers realised its worth the time it takes to figure out how to manipulate the search engine until their page is on top. Google was much more useful when it was still on the list of effecient and useful geek-only tools, now that everyone either uses it directly or uses it via proxy(like yahoo was), the results are often times spam.
        • Re:Googling it.. (Score:4, Informative)

          by MCZapf ( 218870 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:36AM (#7890731)
          Also, I think Google collects some feedback from users to see what links they click in the search results. Presumably, the use this to tell which links are more likely to be relevent to a given search. Fewer people using the search engine will mean less of this kind of feedback.

          It's true though, that this doesn't really affect the spidering aspect of Google's knowledge.

  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:36AM (#7890252)
    Yahoo owns both Inktomi and Overture... for them to be dumping Google and moving to the suppliers that they own outright is something that was easy to see coming, the only question was when.
    • by fruey ( 563914 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:27AM (#7890661) Homepage Journal
      Yes. Yahoo jumped in to get Google tech when it was running high, and probably got a good deal too, since Google wasn't so well known back in 2000. The original press release is here []. Yahoo! at the time said

      "Yahoo! is focused on meeting the needs of these individuals [daily web searchers] by providing them with high-quality, relevant search results"

      It would seem that the relevance of Google results is declining, precisely because so many people are working 24 hours a day to get their site ranked higher, and Kelkoo in particular seems to have done very well at that. [] looks a lot like Google but isn't suffering at the moment from database pollution. I've seen it mentioned before on Slashdot, I think we'll be seeing it again. However, the plot thickens - if you click the "About" link on the AllTheWeb homepage you'll see that "AlltheWeb is a business of Overture Services, Inc." Now we know that Yahoo! acquired Overture back on October 7, 2003 ... and so there's no need for them to keep paying Google I guess. Especially not with a company that has a similar looking site!

      What Google said at the time of Yahoo! integration of Google results:

      "This is a significant milestone for Google and a strong validation of our business strategy"

      The warning bells are ringing, since Yahoo! leaving - having been the loudest validation of the original Google business model - is terrible news in my opinion. It is of note that the Wall Street Journal (and not cnet news or CNN online or ZDNet, etc) picked up on this. The IPO is starting to look less rosy. What I would like to know is whether in the Yahoo! boardroom there was a long debate about the timing of this decision, and indeed what kinds of money were changing hands with Google for provision of searches and whether the price was set to go up for 2004!

      • Alltheweb doesn't cache its results (that I can see) and a search for "google sucks" on Google brings up and various other sites claiming that google sucks, but a similar search on alltheweb brings up virtually nothing of interest on its first page and even a site that has "The Internet sucks w/o Google".

        A search for "alltheweb sucks" on alltheweb brings up nothing on the first page that's critical of alltheweb. Maybe they aren't big enough to be hated, but the results look, well, suck
    • Yahoo owns both Inktomi and Overture... for them to be dumping Google and moving to the suppliers that they own outright is something that was easy to see coming, the only question was when.

      Whatever. Yahoo has no hope of designing a search algorithm better than google's within a few months. They might switch to one of the others, but no one will care. Google will still be the best search. Personally, I think Yahoo just fucked themselves because using Google's search might have brought back some of t

      • Who says yahoo hasn't been designing a search algorithm for a year, or two? Just because they're making this announcement now doesn't mean that they're just beginning work on a new search. Besides yahoo search is one of a vast number of things yahoo offers. I don't search on yahoo. But I do use yahoo mail, yahoo maps, yahoo messenger, etc almost daily.

        I for one welcome this. At best yahoo designs a great search engine that betters google. At worst they push google to make a better engine.
  • by Josh Mast ( 1283 ) <> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:37AM (#7890262)
    You're kidding me. I can't remember the last time I ever bothered using Yahoo!'s search function. It had to have been sometime back in '98 I'm sure.
    • Really.

      When you do a search on Yahoo these days, you get the same exact results you would get on Google. Difference being a lot more crap on the front page to load up on Yahoo as opposed to Google.

      Yahoo dropping Google is a good thing. Who wants every search engine using the same underlying technology and returningthe same results? Different technologies will, hopefully, bring wider variery of results.
    • by G4from128k ( 686170 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:01AM (#7890450)
      "Might be time to rethink that IPO?"

      You're kidding me. I can't remember the last time I ever bothered using Yahoo!'s search function.

      The issue of Yahoo dumping Google has nothing to do with whether Yahoo sucks or not. Instead, this is an issue of Google's long-term business outlook. Google is partially dependent on large contracts from major portals like Yahoo and Google also faces the potential of losing to another search engine provider.

      As wonderful as Google is now, it is in a very risky industry. The fact that search sites like Yahoo, AltaVista, Excite, etc. can go from darling to moribund suggests that the industry has high turnover. And then there is Microsoft which has expressed interest in competing with Google.

      Were Google publically traded right now, this news would create a major hit to the stock price. This suggests that any potential buyers of Google IPO stock should think long and hard about the likelihood of expecting more unexpected bad news.
      • doubtfully (Score:3, Insightful)

        by *weasel ( 174362 )
        stocks move faster than that. Yahoo had announced its intention to split from Google for some time, and signalled it for much longer. (You don't retain your internal search companies, and buy more search IP if you intend to use a 3rd party forever).

        Google however is finding a larger market in advertising than it thought it could, and despite your claim makes most of its profit from smaller private contracts.

        Yahoo is just about the -only- large portal contract they had. I mean, who else is there? And it
    • by whovian ( 107062 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:08AM (#7890501)
      When I want to look for a category or find out simply "What is X basically?" quickly, I use Yahoo over Google. For this, it is a waste of time weeding out the crap Google has been bubbling to the surface lately. It's like those porn web sites that all refer to one another without actually providing any content.

      Now when I want specific examples or contexts, such as "Do related terms X and Y occur on the same web page or in the same usenet article?", Google is great. Still, the crap has to be picked out.
      • Someone else mentioned in a different thread that Yahoo returns the same results as Google.

        Right now I can find searches that give the same or very similar results (try: electricity lightning rod) or somewhat dissimilar results (try: actresses).
  • First Dibs (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Yahoo to Dump Google. [...] Yahoo picks up the story

    Yeah, I guess they'd have first dibs on the story, eh?
  • by I-R-Baboon ( 140733 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:39AM (#7890281)

    Is complete horseshit especially when you can find other links. [] Take for instance this link. []

    Enjoy the reading fellow /.ers.

  • Rethink their IPO? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gpinzone ( 531794 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:39AM (#7890282) Homepage Journal
    Because of Yahoo? Nah. Google better rethink their IPO because their technology has been broken by spammers. Searching with google used to be a lot more fruitful in the old days. Anything searches that could be construed as porn or is sold on is going to yield tons of useless links.
    • Nah, now would be the time to IPO... turn 1/3 of the company into cash just before it starts getting seriously challenged by Yahoo.

      Not the best for the people who buy the IPO, but the people who make the decision to offer an IPO are the people who presently own the company.
    • Not to mention that Google is basically being forced to IPO and doesn't have much of a choice in the matter.

      Google has remained private as long as possible. If their VCs were looking to cash out, they could have done it before the crash. And everyone has been asking them to IPO for the last 2 years to kickstart the stock market. It was smart of them to wait until the DJ was above 10,000, but probably unnecessary.

      The reason they are going public is because SEC rules force companies with a certain number of
    • So they are hoping for a good Google IPO too.
  • Yahoo bot? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by m00nun1t ( 588082 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:40AM (#7890283) Homepage
    "...Yahoo will switch from Google to its own technology as early as the first quarter."

    If Yahoo is going live with a search engine that soon, why haven't I seen a bot on my site (google page rank of 5, so not obscure) which looks Yahoo-ish? Anyone else spotted a bot you think might belong to yahoo?
    • Re:Yahoo bot? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by ThePretender ( 180143 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:45AM (#7890329) Homepage
      would probably be Inktomi's bot (something like There was an earlier post about this transition being obvious since Yahoo owns Inktomi and Overture. So Inktomi would do the crawlin' and Overture would provide the paid results.
    • Re:Yahoo bot? (Score:3, Informative)

      by jodo ( 209027 )
      I've noticed a significant increase in the inktomi bot search on my sites.
      Don't claim to know if that means anything.
    • > Anyone else spotted a bot you think might
      > belong to yahoo?


    • Re:Yahoo bot? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by _Sharp'r_ ( 649297 )
      Inktomi and Overture's bots belong to Yahoo now.

      FAST-WebCrawler from Overture and Slurp from Inktomi.

      Personally, since Google has spidered a large percentage of the pages on my sites and Inktomi/Overture has only done a very minimal amount of pages, they're going to have to really pick up their index size if they hope to compete with Google and ATW on finding anything that isn't on a site's home page.
    • God, I've been getting hit by Inktomi bots (IP 66.196.**.** ) for months now.
  • by gcaseye6677 ( 694805 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:43AM (#7890307)
    This will hurt Yahoo a lot more than it will hurt Google. Google's search technology is very advanced, once you weed through the garbage links. Yahoo, before they used Google technology, would usually take forever to find any relevant results. Yahoo will go back to being the search engine with huge name recognition and little effective use.
  • by Mike Buddha ( 10734 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:44AM (#7890316)
    Yeah, I definately think that people at Yahoo should really rethink it's IPO if they're going to drop the only thing that makes it relevant. If they expect to float along with their cheesy messaging and other crapware they're in for big trouble.
  • Yahoo! plans to dump Google as its primary search technology.

    It was convenient to be able to googlewash several search engines at the same time.
  • I believe the author of this post doens't realize that this was probably in response to Google's IPO. As a close partner, Google probably would have been obliged to mention this to Yahoo; certainly everyone speculated about it.
    • Day #1 - Google announces IPO
      Day #2 - Yahoo announces they dump google

      You don't suppose this isn't a coincidence or that it has nothing to do with technology do you?

      In a former life I swam with the sharks on Wall St. This reeks of "they're up to someting".

      But no matter, if Yahoos replacement for google is any good it'll yield more or less the same search results as google.

      Google may lose some ad revenue over this, which makes them worth a few gazillion less, maybe.

      But people who rank highly in google s
  • Insightful? *cough* (Score:2, Informative)

    by Dogtanian ( 588974 )
    Might be time to rethink that IPO

    You mean because Yahoo are dropping Google? Man, *that* was unexpected, no-one knew that was coming.
    Seriously, if that's your reason, then you (or they) obviously didn't do any thinking or research in the first place.

    As for Yahoo fighting back, I didn't see *that* coming either.
  • It would matter a little if Yahoo was going back to whatever proprietary search they had before Overture, but if they're just hosting paid links, I think that only makes Google's product stronger.
  • by tuxette ( 731067 ) * <> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:49AM (#7890361) Homepage Journal
    Second, Yahoo wants to combine personalization and customization features to extend the usefulness of searches.

    It will be interesting to see what this develops into. I'm already a bit uncomfortable with the thought of such a "service." While it may be "convenient" to create a profile of your interests and perhaps an overview of previous searches and marking of what were "good" search results, I don't like the idea of Yahoo! storing all this data in the first place. How do I know that they won't sell this data to marketers? (Most privacy policies are bullshit.) Or give it to government officials looking for terrorists and political opponents and the such? Will I have to give up a lot of personal data in order to get search for information results that don't lead me to sites that try to sell me the product I'm trying to research?

    Thanks, but for now I think I'll stick to spending time and effort to get the search results I want, no matter how big of a pain in the ass it is, rather than sell my soul for the same.

    • "Or give it to government officials looking for terrorists and political opponents and the such?"

      If they(not you) operate out of the United States, the US PATRIOT act says that the govt is allowed access to any comercial database they desire, denying them is a federal crime, telling someone you gave them access is a federal crime. Unlike most new scary laws, this has already been used atleast once. Can't remember any references, but I vaugely remember something about the US govt trying to find people that
  • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Raven42rac ( 448205 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:50AM (#7890368)
    Why is it time to rethink that IPO? Losing Yahoo as a paying customer will not hurt very much. There will just be another one to take their place. Google makes great search appliances for networks. They are gaudy yellow boxes, but they work very well. There is plenty of money in that. Look at all this other stuff [] they can sell. They can sell advertising, search appliances, they can let you use their engine to search your site, and they can park domains for you. How will losing one customer on one sector of their business hurt them (badly)? Their eggs are not all in one basket. That would be like everyone saying "Ford is dying!" when someone stops buying their air freshener.
    • Re:Why? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sql*kitten ( 1359 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:24AM (#7890624)
      Google makes great search appliances for networks.

      Yes and no. Google's great strength is that it looks for links to a document as an indication of the quality of the document. In other words, it leverages evaluations of a document collectively made by humans. That works (or at least, worked) fabulously well for a most hand-written Internet, or in a case where someone familiar with the knowledge domain had written automated software to cross reference specific sections of it.

      But what if there's nothing for PageRank to go on? What if you have 100,000 pre-Web documents in SGML/RTF/Word/FrameMaker, without any hyperlinking at all? Well, then all Google has to go on is keywords... it's "edge" evaporates.

      Google's business is a commodity - what they have right now is a great brand and a solid (but not particularly spectacular) technology. When they have a technology that can do what Google Answers does, then it'll be safe for them to IPO, but not before.
      • When they have a technology that can do what Google Answers does, then it'll be safe for them to IPO, but not before.

        When they have a technology that can do what Google Answers does, then it'll be time to sell all your shares in everything and go and live out in the wilderness for a few years, just in case...

        Much scarier than Y2K.
      • I'd like to second the points made by the poster. We've tried the appliance in house, and our experience was not good. Many people make the mistake of thinking:

        1. is great
        2. Google, the company, makes an enterprise solution.
        3. == Google, the company == Google's enterprise solution.
        4. Therefore, the enterprise solution is also great.

        The appliance is basically a packaged version of the application. Obviously, this is no surprise, as we wouldn't expect Google to develo
    • Their search appliance for networks probably won't make them huge amounts of money, i think. For one thing, that area is totally commoditized. What Google is doing, Autonomy, Verity, Convera, and even at least two of Yahoo's bought companies (Altavista and FAST) are doing as well. And none of them make decent money out of either.

      Also, perhaps Google has improved, but the performance specs I read when they introduced this were hardly impressive, and probably the worst out of the whole group.
  • by carndearg ( 696084 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:54AM (#7890392) Homepage Journal
    It is as well to bear in mind at this point that while Yahoo started out as a classified directory and became a search engine, the search engine probably isnt such a big deal for them these days. They left it behind when they became a portal. Remember portals?:) Services like Yahoo Groups, Yahoo Mail, Geo5h1tties, Yahoo personals etc etc all join the search engine to make up the greater Yahoo portal. I am guessing that most Yahoo users rarely use it for searching these days.
    • Google's more than just a search engine as well, though it's stuck to its core model of using its search technology throughout. The only place I go for news these days is Google News. I look at Google News, and think "now this is what they were thinking of when they said how the web would be an information nexus". Yahoo has the nigh unsearchable and unnavigible Yahoo Groups with interstitial ads every other message, Google has Google Groups with no interruptions.

      Google has search "types" like addresses,
  • Yahoo is free. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SexyKellyOsbourne ( 606860 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @09:59AM (#7890439) Journal
    When Yahoo switched to Google as its primary search engine, it made Yahoo into nothing more than a Google frontend with a lot of wasted bandwidth on its pages. It was just google with a bloated site loaded to bear with ads, as if it was an MSN with a google search bar. Its only real difference in searching was those old directories with all the outdated pages from the 1990s.

    Now that Yahoo will be using another search technology, there might be a reason for using Yahoo again. Some useful things that may never show up on Google might show up on Yahoo, so it might make for a useful alternate search engine now, especially if Google continues to slide as it's doing. Then again, we still have old Astalavista for that, as well.
  • Look closer... (Score:5, Informative)

    by GeckoFood ( 585211 ) <> on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:04AM (#7890471) Journal

    Yahoo! plans to dump Google as its primary search technology.

    The word primary is very important here. It implies that Yahoo! is not completely abandoning Google, but is making it second string instead. If they're still letting us access Google, even if it requires a couple of extra clicks, then I can't see this as entirely bad. I like Google and it's my first pick, but I certainly don't limit myself to Google...

    I did not see in the article where Yahoo! is completely dropping Google. If it's in there, I missed it.

  • by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:06AM (#7890485)
    I never really understood why Yahoo! switched to Google in the first place. The point is to differentiate. I stopped going to Yahoo! when I saw it was powered by Google - I just went to the "source". Same deal with MapQuest.

    I guess I just don't find value in the portal service Yahoo offers. I also don't shop at Wal-Mart. I would rather use my bookmarks bar to go the site I like for Investment tools, another for maps, another for searching, and another for e-mail.
    • Yahoo and Google offer different types of search - Yahoo's directory based, and Google's random keyword based.

      This means Yahoo's searches are more likely to be relevent when searching for entities and/or products, and Google's is likely to find more hits and be useful for non-entity based searches (ie "Linux ES1371 driver")

      So it makes sense for Yahoo to "fallback" to Google once its directory has been searched. This makes Yahoo's search more useful than it'd be if it just searched the Yahoo directory al

  • Most responders don't seem to notice that the article mentions Yahoo's acquisition of two search engines (Inktomi for searches and Overture for paid searches). Yahoo has always used an 'improved' version of google results; the search quality shouldn't be much worse. Yahoo is doing this for the money to be saved (by using their own acquired search technology) and gained (more and smarter paid listings).
  • by crazyhorse44 ( 242315 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @10:30AM (#7890686)
    You know how when you play risk... and you team up with one of your friends... you have to keep an eye on him to make sure he doesn't get too strong? If he gets too strong he might turn around and start pillaging your homeland... so you have to remain friends as long as possible and then pick the right moment to invade him... feigned disgust notwithstanding.

    This is the same thing here... Yahoo teamed up with Google as long as the relationship was substantially beneficial to Yahoo. However... with Google's recent IPO... it is clear to the Yahoo suits that shareholders are going to want Google to "put out". This most likely would include a more full-figured search portal which would very likely ensure that Yahoo loses most of the armies it gets at the beginning of its turn and pretty eliminate any potential for new Risk cards. So Yahoo decided to screw Google first and try to solidify their position as the premier search portal for all the web refuse that isn't already part of the AOL empire.
  • Yahoo news has picked up the story
    Yahoo News picked up the story that Yahoo was in the news? Now *that's* some good searching technology! You can bet I'll be using them to search news!
  • Let's face it, you and I both know the only reason Yahoo went with google in the first place was because they were getting their rears kicked in the search engine business. Using google allowed them to put some proper research into it, take their time, and use their own good engine once they had it built. Thanks a lot google! I finished with you baby, your money's on the dresser! Pablo
  • In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

    by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @11:32AM (#7891309)
    Yahoo users were still unable to find the "search" button at among advertisements, sweepstakes offers, pretty buttons, news headlines, shopping categories, and about a hundred other annoyances.
  • by Inoshiro ( 71693 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2004 @11:37AM (#7891359) Homepage
    Now that Yahoo's decided to switch beyond, maybe it'll be time for Google to improve its database import spiders so we don't see spam in their db. You know what I'm talking about, erroneous results like that comes up when you search for 'speaker review car'

    All the spam domains I checked into last November came up registered by the same people, too:

    Venera Pictures, LLC
    Samantha Dayk (
    FAX: +1.-
    1170 S. Chelton Rd.
    Colorado Springs, CO 80910

    Gateway Traffic, LLC
    Sean Der (
    FAX: +1.-
    102 Hunts Bluff Road
    Sparks, MD 21152

    If they add a Bayesian algorithm on incoming pages (comparing link farm pages to ham, and determining it's spam), and keep track of the whois informatin for domains (all the spam domains I found using random search queries led back to those false names in the whois database), Google's results could probably stay non-erroneous for some time.

    It's really a tragedy that advertisers feel they can skip paying Google, and instead wreck Google for users and other advertisers, causing people to move on the potentially greener pastures []. We've had IM partially ruined by spam, email almost ruined, and places like Google ruined. When will laws be passed so that purposefully attacking online systems is as illegal and easily prosecutable as defacing buildings?
  • I, for one, would welcome some new search engine overlord. I also agree that google's results are not so great anymore, so I have become adept at adding all sorts of quotes, pluses, OR, AND, '*'s, site:, etc. But all of these tricks are ways of overcoming the absence of personalization in google, and others. I want personalized categories and personalized filters and personalized anything else.

    I already use yahoo mail, and I love MyYahoo. I would gladly wait a whole second or two, or even wait for em

  • Yahoo is not rocket science, and it sure ain't Google. And Yahoo probably (justifiably) doesn't want to pay Google prices for a feature that just doesn't matter that much to the great majority of their users. Because the great majority likely fall into two camps:

    1. Too dumb to use anything EXCEPT whatever search engine they're spoon-fed by Yahoo.

    2. Too smart to ever use ANYTHING spoon-fed to them by Yahoo.

    I'm a Yahoo user. But even when they switched their search engine to Google, I still tracked
  • I'm sorry to sound confused but the looks like Google, feels like Google, but is really an Inktomi technology which Yahoo owns.


The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky