Returning to Yahoo!


I've always liked Yahoo. I've always seen them as innovative in terms of web applications - not stopping with being the original web portal, they've always tried to keep adding useful applications online. Years after I first signed up for an account, I still regularly use them for a variety of online apps. If I need to look up movies, I go there. I like their maps and directions better than any others. Yahoo IM is still my preferred instant messenger. Before I was an RSS junkie, I used MyYahoo's News page religously. And if Yahoo they didn't create the cool web app, they bought it. Yahoo Groups is the best way to organize a mailing list quickly (eGroups), my emergency email program has been Yahoo since it was RocketMail and I used HotJobs last year when I was looking for work. These guys know what works on the web. And have you seen the stuff that's available on Yahoo Mobile? They're quickly getting the mobile internet as well.

So anyways, the only thing I regularly use online that I don't default to using Yahoo for is searching (well, Amazon and eBay too, but you get the idea). Like everyone else I've been using Google for several years now as its results have always been both clean and accurate. But Google royally pissed me off with their treatment of Erik and others with their secretive and arbitrary AdSense program, and have generally become more and more arrogant in everything I've seen online. In my opinion, Google is to become the next Netscape: having a new unique product, but who was eventually killed off by established players because of their own myopic word-view (i.e. "We are the Internet").

So, Diego just pointed out the new Yahoo Search which has finally dumped Google. I just tried it and it's pretty great. I passes what I call "The Russell Test". Simply, if I type my first name in to the search, I can find myself in the first few results. The other pretenders to the search throne like Teoma still don't pass it. It's obviously a very biased test, but why would I use a search that can't find me?

Sooo. It's time I think to move back to Yahoo. I'm going to change the defaults in Firebird and erase the Google favorites and generally forgo Google's search for Yahoo for a while and see if I like it. Honestly, I can see myself pulling up Google quite a bit still because I won't instinctively trust the new search results for a while, but it'll be nice to return to Yahoo, I think.

I'm not doing this just for sentimental reasons or spite (though obviously they factor in), I honestly think Yahoo has what it takes to get back to their former search dominance. Diego reminded me that Yahoo owns Overture, Inktomi, Altavista and AllTheWeb. They have some of the best minds in search on their team. And isn't Overture suing Google? That could seriously affect their AdWords revenue if they lost.

Now Yahoo just needs a web API and it'll be perfect.


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