Yahoo finally drops Google search results

MUMBAI: In one of the most expected turn of events, Yahoo has dropped Google search results from their Yahoo Search function. This was foreseen after Yahoo bought out the Inktomi search engine and Overture Search Advertising last year.

From yesterday Yahoo began to switch from search results from Google and is now relying on its own technology to provide what the company called "more comprehensive and relevant" results for users.

According to a media report, Yahoo flipped the switch on its new search engine on Tuesday, positioning the Sunnyvale Web portal to compete directly with Google in what is quickly becoming a bare-knuckles battle for advertisers and supremacy in the online search world.

The announcement of the split is a symbolically important end to a relationship that began in 2000, when Google was a lesser-known Silicon Valley start-up and Yahoo was the search leader. In a rather dramatic turn of events, Google overtook and is now considered the king of Internet search, and companies such as Yahoo and Microsoft are scrambling to play catch-up.

Yahoo has focused heavily on improving its search capabilities in the past year, spending nearly $two billion to buy up search engine Inktomi and Overture, which sells paid listings on search engine Web sites.

One media report said that Yahoo's renewed interest in search is yet one more signal that the business is becoming highly competitive -- and for good reason. Advertising revenue on search sites is expected to top $ two billion this year, accounting for one fourth of all online ad spending.

Nevertheless, Yahoo and Microsoft both have the resources to challenge Google's dominance. Yahoo is valued at about $30 billion; Microsoft is worth $289 billion. However, privately held Google has been mulling a public stock offering that could give it access to billions.

On the technology front, Microsoft recently released a news search tool in several foreign languages to compete against Google globally.

Google, meanwhile, is also working to improve its search products, with less fanfare. Last year, it bought Kaltix, a three-month-old technology start-up that focused on making search results more relevant through personalisation. And earlier this year Google launched a social networking service called Orkut that could eventually allow its users to find people more easily.

According to comScore Media Metrix, Google handled 35 per cent of all searches in December compared with Yahoo's 27 per cent, AOL's 16 per cent and MSN's 15 per cent. Two months earlier, Yahoo's search share was 26 per cent compared with Google's 35 per cent. The reach of Yahoo's search technology now will rival Google's, which handles the search for AOL.

The switch ends a long relationship between the two companies. Now Yahoo has its eyes firmly on Google as a rival.

In a media report, Google declined to comment specifically on Yahoo's move, but announced that its search index added one billion more Web pages, bringing it to 4.3 billion. On the other hand, Yahoo did not reveal the size of its index, but search experts said it crawled far fewer Web pages.

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