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Video Search Faceoff: Yahoo! vs. Google

January 25th, 2005 | Comments Off | Posted in Yahoo! Related

So Google launched their video search last night; we launched ours back in December and last night we pushed it to the front pages of Yahoo! and Yahoo! Search, as well as adding the Video tab to the search results page (which we affectionately call the SRP or "serp").

Google went in a slightly different direction here; their search is based on searching closed captions and video transcripts instead of looking for actual video. The idea is interesting and has great potential, but at this point their product is pretty useless. For one, relevancy is plain awful: take a look at the query yahoo. All of the matches are for SBC Yahoo! DSL ads on the sides of the pages; there is not a single relevant result. Or take for example the search Blonde Redhead, which returns 3 results of transcripts regarding makeovers and nothing about the band. Plus, if you can actually find anything you’re looking for with Google, it's just downright frustrating not to be able to actually watch the videos. Yahoo! Video Search on the other hand, returns useful results; again, try Blonde Redhead and you’ll get a bunch of relevant results including a live in-studio performance and some music videos, which you can click on to watch. And I didn’t hand pick these queries to make us look good; these were the first two I tried.

We went through a lot of cult worship before when Yahoo! first exploded in the mid-nineties, and it all wears thin once the company grows and the bottom line becomes important. This is the first time Google has launched a sub-standard product, I think we’re starting to see the pressure kick in and Google’s magic fade.

More Examples I Tried:

i’m famous

October 26th, 2004 | Comments Off | Posted in Yahoo! Related

posting from NYC… just noticed my entry went out. welcome to all newcomers!

still twitterpated

October 7th, 2004 | Comments Off | Posted in Music, Personal, Politics, Yahoo! Related

…but eking out my measly pies. Developments galore, folks. It’s been a crazy couple weeks. Peaks and valleys, floods and droughts. But that’s life.


Well both the first Presidential and only Vice-Presidential debates have come and gone. I thought Kerry edged out Bush in the first prezzie debate, but I’m pretty biased. It just seemed that Kerry was consistently talking about his plan and simultaneously exposing the failures of the Bush Administration (and he was suprisingly succinct and clear), while Bush simply attacked Kerry’s character over and over. I’d like to hear Bush attempt to talk a bit more about what his administration has done, mainly because I think it’s all horrible.

As for the Veep debates, I thought that one was a draw. Edwards was charismatic and all, but he avoided a number of key issues and didn’t rebutt a few of Cheney’s more damaging points (such as Cheney’s distortion of his senate voting and attendance records). And Cheney (while a total douchebag in the sense that I disagree with him on just about everything) at least gives you the impression that he knows what’s he’s talking about.


The current playlist looks like this:

  • Brian WilsonSmile
  • Charles BisselLive at Schubas
  • DungenTa Det Lungt
  • Fiery FurnacesGallowsbird’s Park
  • InterpolAntics
  • PinbackBlue Screen Life
  • Rogue WaveOut of the Shadow
  • Saturday Looks Good To MeAll Your Summer Songs
  • The ShinsChutes Too Narrow
  • Viva VoceThe Heat Can Melt Your Brain

Went to the Muffs show on Tuesday, they were pretty good but played a little too long. What’s crazy is that there was like no one there… the first time I saw the Muffs was at the Fillmore in the mid 90s and it was packed, and Tuesday they played BotH and it was empty. How the mighty have fallen.

More good shows coming up in October:

  • Oct 11 – Dirtbombs
  • Oct 15 – Fiery Furnaces
  • Oct 17 – Hot Water Music
  • Oct 28 – Metric
  • Oct 29 – Britt Daniel / Nedelle

Yahoo! Stuff

All hail the arrival of My Yahoo! Search!! This product is the result of over a year’s work from tons of people on this team, myself included. Nice to have it out, finally. Let me know what you think.

We launched a new huge image index on Yahoo! Image Search. It totally rocks.

Personal Junk

This week has been… intense. I’ve done a few things I didn’t think I’d ever do; I think I was so intent on getting what I wanted that lost sight of where I was. I’m ashamed, and happy, and ashamed that I’m happy. Live and learn, I guess. And at least it’s been exciting.

Tommorrow Landis and I are throwing a debate party for anyone who wants to come and watch. Should be fun.

I’ll leave you with these verses from the Arcade Fire record that have been ringing in my ears this last week:

they say a watched pot won’t ever boil
well i closed my eyes and nothing changed
just some water getting hotter
in the flame

it’s not a lover i want no more
and it’s not heaven i’m pining for
but there’s some spirit i used to know
that’s been drowned out by the radio

USA Today: Y! vs G

August 19th, 2004 | Comments Off | Posted in Yahoo! Related

USA Today published an article today comparing Google and Yahoo! across a number of properties, including search, mail, toolbars, etc. In general, they were fair (and we won most of the matchups). However, I wanted to debunk some of their fallacies regarding web search. Here’s their evaluation of Yahoo! Search:

Yahoo dumped Google in February to introduce its own search technology, and it’s now a respectable second choice. It doesn’t have definitions or a calculator in its search fields, and you can’t use search to look up people’s phone numbers. You’ll have to go to other parts of Yahoo where all this is possible. But more often than not, the Web site search results are almost as good as, if not on par with, Google.

Now let’s take a look at a few Yahoo! Searches:

And look at this: do the same dictionary query on Google, and you’ll notice there is no definition! You have to search for misinform to get dictionary results; I guess Google doesn’t think inflected forms are real words.

Admittedly, on Y! Search the phone number lookup is yellow instead of white pages; on Google you get my stepfather’s home phone number and address instead of his office. Then again, try searching for my dad on google and you get his law offices; they only use white pages as a fallover from yellow pages.

I think USA Today owes us an apology.

Y! Search Blog

August 18th, 2004 | Comments Off | Posted in Yahoo! Related

We also just launched the Yahoo! Search blog, in case you’re interested in following the public face of what I do every day. Who knows; maybe I’ll even post one of these days.