Yahoo! Search will always be a Search Engine

  • Posted August 25th, 2010 at 6:56 am by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Industry, Search

I’ve heard some innuendo that with Yahoo! Search transitioning certain back-end functions to Microsoft, we are no longer a “search engine.” I find these comments amusing, but a little irresponsible. What it comes down to is that the search industry is not widely understood, so I’d like to take this opportunity to draw a few comparisons with other industries. When groundbreaking new technologies are developed (i.e. chips, cars, smart phones, etc.), most industry players initially build their entire technology stack in-house. As these companies become more successful, and as technology matures, many building blocks of these products are outsourced – even some of the most critical components.

Take a look at Boeing or Airbus aircrafts. They outsource their engines to Rolls Royce, United Technologies, and GE.  But, does that mean that Boeing and Airbus are no longer airline manufacturers? What about the mobile handset business? HTC uses a chip from one company (say Qualcomm), sources its screen from various OEMs, and uses Google Android for its OS. And is HTC a mobile phone company?

People who assume that search is only about indexing, crawling and relevance of web documents are mistaken. First of all, there are hundreds of sources of data other than the web index. Yahoo! Search supplements Microsoft’s web Index with Yahoo!’s own content, content from third party relationships, and content from social networks like Twitter. We still maintain the technology, science, scale and infrastructure required to crawl, index and rank this data – and all in real-time (less than a second).

Beyond that, Yahoo! is investing in many areas that will redefine and reshape search – we are still a search engine, and in a strong second place in this very competitive marketplace. Watch out for amazing stuff coming from this search engine!

Shashi Seth
Senior Vice President, Yahoo! Search Products

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Comment by steveplunkett
2010-08-25 07:38:55

So what you are saying is that, this is pahse 1, etc.. Yahoo! Dir will be mixed into the results soon?

Comment by Jim Rudnick
2010-08-25 07:54:12

Sorry, but I totally disagree here, Shashi! And I believe you’re just using the corporate line here….

But honestly, I’ll miss the Yahoo search engine….course, like all biz practices, now there’s one less se to optimize for….so my work has been reduced…but at the same time Yahoo for me WAS the se I loved…




Comment by jr conlin
2010-08-25 08:58:17

Uhm, does that mean if I go and buy a loaf of Wonderbread, I’m now a baker?

Not to pick nits or anything, but Boeing and Airbus make “airliners”, not engines. Likewise HTC makes mobile handsets, not broadband chips. They don’t advertise themselves as engines or chip manufacturers.

Yahoo is quite literally no more a search engine at this point than I am. You are a search consumer, a search user, a search reseller, perhaps, but not a search engine. Claiming you are a search engine is at best delusional and at worst flatly deceptive.

Comment by Beverly Mapes
2010-08-25 09:12:28

While there was considerable rebellion on the blog yesterday, it appears many of those individuals were surprised. We heard about this in February at the SES conference in San Jose, so we were waiting for it.

Strategically, this should make both search engines stronger and better, combining tools, technology, content, and skilled engineers where each engine separately had been lacking. I’m sure there have been and will continue to be bumps in the integration. I like Google a lot, but competition is a good thing and I’d love to see this alliance become successful for all. Congrats and good luck!

Comment by Rafael Rez Oliveira
2010-08-25 11:12:23

It’s totably understandable to outsource some components of search, but the algorithm itself? Buy Twitter content is something different than switching core technology.

Index, crawl and rank are still the main resources of today search engines, and it will continue to be in the next years, if we all survive 2012 :)

The marketing promisse to “redefine and reshape search” is of course valuable, though it is also to much wide to be understandable.

As a Yahoo! fan just from the early years, it’s sad to see so much Microsoft tech inside Y! search.

Hope for the best, and the best in that market is good competition!

Comment by Jane
2010-08-25 15:02:48

Well, MSN + YAHOO means power to the people-Google needs some real competition

Comment by zet
2010-08-25 16:48:41

Boeing and Airbus outsource their engines to Rolls Royce, United Technologies, and GE because Rolls Royce, United Technologies, and GE produce the best engines in the world.
It is reasonable.
Yahoo moved search engine to Microsoft and Microsoft does not produce the best search engine in the world.
It is not reasonable.

Comment by Falcon
2010-08-26 00:07:16

When 2004 you were offered to acquire a company in used cars vertical search you went after the Autotrader check and dismissed ‘Yahoo Autos’… and that is one of countless examples where you ran after the immediate profit and neglected developing own technology… after 6 years you do not have anything own in search or vertical search and if you insist that is ikebana around bing organic ‘api call’ your technology… come on guys

Comment by xfantasy
2010-08-27 19:32:26

Wow! MSN+Yahoo vs Google this is great war in Search maketing war.

2010-08-28 04:25:12

Yes, yahoo search was the first se and will continue to be like that

Comment by computer armoires
2010-08-29 21:37:05

YAHOO do all they can to improve themselves, don’t just blame YAHOO. At least we look at the result first.

Comment by aiongold
2010-08-30 18:54:17

YAHOO do all they can to improve themselves, don’t just blame YAHOO. At least we look at the result first

Comment by Animesh
2010-09-02 08:15:30

“we are still a search engine, and in a strong second place in this very competitive marketplace”
I am not totally agree with it from a user view… When ever we open it show alots of stuff which we don’t really need… There should be option like whether I want to be only search engine or I want to have a personalized webpage… Not everone know So yahoo should make its home page like only then I will be agree with oyur statement “”we are still a search engine……………”

Comment by Kelvin
2010-09-05 22:52:46

Again, it’s great to learn news like this as a local business owner. I believe that my customers can also come from yahoo search.


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Comment by Lisa Hinman
2011-08-04 23:51:18

YAHOO do all they can to improve themselves, don’t just blame YAHOO. At least we look at the result first

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