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E-Marketing Performance Blog

Is Google Taking Over?

To some, Google has become synonymous with search. Over the past few years Google has achieved and maintained it’s dominance among the top U.S. based search engines. This is due, in large part, to Google’s commitment to relevancy among its search results. While other engines were experimenting with portals, Google was experimenting with eliminating spam and making their search results better than everybody else. Because of this, Google has become the place to go when performing a search.

Because Google’s quality is in such demand, Google has been extending its reach far beyond its own domain. For several years Google has had a relationship with Yahoo to provide secondary results. This contract has just been renewed with some adjustments (more on that later). Google also has recently signed on to provide results for AOL and Netscape. With Yahoo and AOL onboard the Google wagon, this means Google is now providing results to three of the top four U.S. based search engines. Currently, MSN is the only one of the top 4, not utilizing Google for its results.

Google’s squeeze has caused other search engines work to increase their own relevance. AlltheWeb has done a great job of increasing relevance and providing solid search results that can compare to Google’s. Another engine, Teoma , has often been labeled as “the Google Killer” because of their relevancy results. This may be an overstatement but it says something about the fact that there are other places to perform searches than from Google.

Because I have the Google toolbar loaded into my browser that has typically been the place I go for my searches. It’s convenient. However, I have just downloaded the Teoma toolbar, if nothing else than to remind me that Google is not the only place to get good results.

Yahoo just extended its deal with Google for Google’s results to be integrated into a Yahoo search. However, this extension also comes with some changes in how Yahoo provides its results. It used to be that Yahoo had two main results sections; “web sites” were the first set of results pulled directly from Yahoo’s directory, and “web pages” were results pulled directly from Google. In this format, those who paid Yahoo the $299 for inclusion always had a chance of coming up first, depending on the relevancy of the title and description submitted when purchasing the directory listing. Google’s results were always secondary.

Now, Yahoo has placed Google’s results first. Yahoo claims that their directory results are integrated here but performing a search for “used cars” on both Yahoo and Google pulled up identical results. There are differences in how the listings appear, primarily that Yahoo uses the directory title and description if applicable, and places a small arrow under the listing pointing to their category, but don’t be fooled, this is still Google’s ranking algorithm in place. You may find some minor differences with other searches but it appears that we have another Google clone.

You can still access Yahoo’s directory listings by clicking on the “directory” link in the search results. This is what used to be know as the “web sites” section. What is unfortunate here is that those who coughed up the $299 for a yahoo directory listing are now being placed as secondary results in Yahoo rather than being part of the primary results. Overall, it just appears that Yahoo has renamed their results sections, “web pages” to “the web” and “web sites” to “directory”, and then swapped them. Overall, a slap in the face to those who paid to be listed in the Yahoo directory.

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