Yahoo! promises to abduct 'people' search from Google
Interface, not Bing, is king
Yahoo! may have agreed to substitute its search for Microsoft's Bing, but the company's not throwing in the towel - just snapping it at another end of search-beast Google.
"The back-end of search is a megawatt war, and that is what we are getting out of," senior vice president of Yahoo!'s labs and search strategy Prabhakar Raghaven told AFP.
"We believe the battle has moved beyond the back end," he said, adding "we want to fight the battle on the other end."
That is, if they're allowed to join forces with Microsoft in their battle at all. One veteran antitrust lawyer told Computerworld on Monday that he thinks the Microhoo! deal is a non-starter.
"I obviously can't predict with certainty how the [US Department of Justice] will react to it, but I think there's a very good chance it will force [Microsoft and Yahoo!] to modify the deal at the very least if they do not block it outright," said Matthew Cantor of New York's Constantine Cannon, which specializes in antitrust litigation.
"Even though it's a partnership, it will be evaluated like a merger," said Cantor, "because Yahoo! ceases to be a competitor in search. Yahoo! is going to use Bing technology for their sites. I think there's no question the DOJ will come to the conclusion that the deal is anticompetitive."
That opinion doesn't faze Yahoo! Vice president of search products and design Larry Cornett, who fed AFP the same line that every search firm since AltaVista, alltheweb, Lycos, and Excite has used to describe its offering.
"This design is going to transform the way you use the Web," trumpeted Cornett, saying that a new and improved Yahoo! interface - to be rolled out even before Yahoo!'s Bingification - will "make it easier and faster for you to find the things that matter most to you."
Pardon us if we've heard that before. But Cornett is adamant. "Searching for people has been Google's domain; we are going to take that away from them," he said. "When we launch this, you are going to come to Yahoo! to search for people."
When you search for someone on the new-and-improved Yahoo!, according to Cantor, you'll be presented with links to their social-networking pages on such sites as Facebook and Twitter. Results will also be guided by your previous searches, and will include other
distractions goodies on the search-results page as YouTube videos and Yelp reviews.
What Cornett didn't say is why someone would prefer a filtered web search to the simplicity that's Google. If not presented with tidy elegance, bells and whistles can more often than not generate clangorous shrillness.
The Reg, of course, will wait to pass judgement on the new Yahoo! until we have a chance to put it through its transformative paces.
And then we'll wait with bated breath to find out how much more web-transmogrifying Yahoo! will become after it performs a Vulcan mind meld with Bing.
That is, if Binghoo! ever sees the light of day in the first place. ®
What's wrong with Yahoo as it is?
I've been switched over from Google to Yahoo for some time now, because all that advertising crap that forces paid responses up to the top has drowned out and flooded the actual content that I'm looking for. Google results have become so flooded and crap that I had no choice other than to change my default search.
If they join with Bing, that'll probably muck the whole thing up again and I'll have to go to Lycos, DogPile or something.
Why is it, that when someone actually has something on the web that works, some twat wants to stuff it up?
"This design is going to transform the way you use the Web,"
Bloody hell, not that again!
None of these groundbreaking advinces in social engineering have 'transformed' anything - well, some have been transformed in to a pile of poo.
Need yet another icon - that of a pair of hairy bollocks for the same old bollocks.
(when are we getting web 3.0?)
It's Google's game to loose, not Macrohoo's to win
In my opinion, the only way that any competitor to Google is going to make serious headway (rather than simply p*ss against the wind) is if Google shoot themselves in the foot.
Google came to the fore because of their simple interface, the search box and the "Google Search" button.
Users loved the simplicity. Want to search? That's all there is - great user interface.
All of the other search engines, Yahoo, MSN, Excite, Alta-Vista, Lycos etc all tried to offer more. They went down the "web portal" route trying to be all things to all people but sadly became Jacks of all Trades and Master of none. They became so complex that finding the search box became a task in its own right.
This loss of focus on their key reason d'etre simply ensured that once people were made aware of Google and gave it a try - they tended to switch their search providers and provided Google continue to serve up the goods then they won't move away unless someone can do it significantly better. (and the goods can be [and are] different to results on other search engines - not necessarily better or worse, just different]
The problem is that although "Bing" plays homage to Google with a simple search interface, Bing has yet to work out what it is, as evidenced by a simple search conducted as an experiment and highlighted in this blog http://bit.ly/flJnf
Google continue to improve their systems, they just tend not to make such a big fuss about it (maybe they should) and rather than invest $100m in marketing, as apparently MS are doing for "Bing" would probably be much happier investing it in Eco projects (www.google.org) and on their search results