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USA Today: Y! vs G

August 19th, 2004 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.

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