Yahoo Confirms Switch from Google

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-02-18 Print this article Print

UPDATED: Yahoo, dropping Google, introduces its new algorithmic search technology in a move expected to increase competition in the search market.

Yahoo Inc. on Wednesday confirmed that it has begun its switch from Google Inc.s search technology to its own search algorithm. As previously reported, Yahoo had begun integrating non-Google search results into its Yahoo Search site this week and launched a new Web crawler, called Yahoo Slurp, to index Web pages. Yahoo said that it had begun rolling out its own search technology that includes new features for accessing Extensible Markup Language and Real Simple Syndication feeds and to filter out less relevant or redundant links through the use of its SpamGuard anti-spam technology from Yahoo Mail.
Yahoo expects over the next few weeks to continue rolling out its new search worldwide and across all its other search properties, a Yahoo spokeswoman said. Those other properties include the companys acquisitions last year of Inktomi Corp. and Overture Services Inc., which brought with it AltaVista and
"Over course of next few weeks it will be one single platform," spokeswoman Diana Lee said in an interview with Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo has used Googles search index and technology on its sites since 2000, but after its Inktomi and Overture acquisitions speculation ran rampant that Yahoo would drop Google. In January, Yahoo Chairman and CEO Terry Semel confirmed that the company planned to make the switch by the end of March. While search industry watchers expected Yahoo to switch to Inktomis search results, Yahoo instead switched to a new search engine technology overall, no doubt making use of the acquisitions in the process. Not to be outdone, Google this week also increased the size of its search index. Click here to read more. Early reports from search engine watchers were favorable. According to Barry Lloyd, CEO of search-engine marketing company Microchannel Technologies Ltd., the new Yahoo Search technology includes Inktomis paid inclusion lisitings, and the new algorithm gives weight to sites in Yahoos directory and that appear as quality links in Yahoos multiple crawler databases. "(It) certainly seems to be cheering up a lot of commercial Webmasters," said Lloyd in an e-mail interview. The new Yahoo Search includes links to XML/RSS syndication feeds in its search results and also lets users directly add those feeds into their personalized My Yahoo pages. In January, Yahoo had begun a beta test of an RSS aggregation service for My Yahoo called RSS Headlines. Yahoo also said that it has combined its SpamGuard technology with a team of editorial experts to help remove spam-oriented links from its new search results. In a statement, Jeff Weiner, senior vice president of Yahoo Search and Marketplace, said that the company will be introducing a series of search personalization and other new features in the coming weeks and months. The Yahoo Search Technology, while powering Yahoos Web search results, also has been integrated into Yahoos news search and product search. Yahoo also plans to use it in other parts of its portal, including Yahoo Travel, Yahoo Local, Yahoo Personals and Yahoo HotJobs. Editors Note: This story was updated to include further comment from Yahoo officials. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at for the latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion about productivity and business solutions.
Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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