Yahoo!, which has long used Google’s search engine to power searches on its site, announced yesterday that it is turning to its own technology for most Web searches. Search industry insiders have been expecting the move for months, given Yahoo!’s acquisition last year of prominent search engine companies Inktomi, Altavista, and Alltheweb.com (the latter pair through its purchase of Overture). But while hardly a surprise, Yahoo!’s shift still comes as a big blow for Google; the company handled 79 percent of all searches by U.S. web surfers in November 2003, according to SearchEngineWatch, but without searches initiated at Yahoo!, Google’s share would have been only 51 percent. There’s been plenty of excellent day-after analysis of Yahoo’s move, including this informative comparison of Google and Yahoo!’s new search technology by the Wall Street Journal (subscription only). Overall, the change reinforces TR’s argument in “Search Beyond Google” that other companies’ innovations in search technology are putting increasing pressure on Google to come up with new advances that are as groundbreaking as its original introduction of popularity-based search.
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