The first test – TICK. A Yahoo search on my name turns up very good results. My website first, and underneath that one of my blog posts. Closely followed by Facebook and LinkedIn. If i wanted to stalk myself, this is clearly a good place to start.
After that, it starts getting a bit weird, and the results lose a lot of meaning. Some old documentation I wrote when in another job shows up on the first page, despite it being excessively out-of-date and not updated for at least 3 years, I didn’t think this content would fare at all.
In terms of visuals, the search results are very Google’esque…nay, identical. Yahoo results are minimalistic with Web, Image, Video, News, Maps and More at the top of the screen and a link to the cached version located conveniently in a position which makes defending a case of plagiarism from Google infinitely hard. I guess the up-side to this is that people will hit Yahoo search results and feel like they’re in familiar territory.
Which I guess leads me into Yahoo’s foray into Federated search called Alpha. Yahoo claim that “Alpha is a new beta product from Yahoo!7 that introduces the concept of Federated Search. With Alpha, you can search across many different information sources all on one place”.. Holy tuna, batman! “Search across many information sources from one place”?….Sounds like a regular search engine to me. *bored* The quality of search results don’t appear to be any different to regular Yahoo, but the UI is very different. Kind of like Live Search (and we all remember how that went)…
<fast-forward one week>
I’ve been using Y7’s search now for the week and I have to admit, I was acutally quite comfortable with the results it was giving. When evaluating MS Live Search, I was constantly living in this fear that I was missing quality search results and would fall back to Google just to make sure I was getting the right information when I needed it. However with Yahoo, I felt confident enough with what it gave me to not feel like I was missing out on good results. I honestly feel like I could replace Google with Yahoo if I needed to (which I don’t).
The next engine to go under the knife – Ask.com. They don’t have any locally branded content, and I’ve just got a gut-feeling this will be a difficult week 😐