Yahoo tops Google in quality of searches, study says
While Google dominates market share, Yahoo gets more users to click on results
Computerworld - While Google Inc. dominates the search query business, results generated by Yahoo Inc.'s search engine result in more user clicks than the market leader, according to a study released this week by Compete Inc.
The survey found that 67% of the 7.5 billion monthly searches done by the U.S. online population in August were done using Google, only 65% of those prompted a user to click on a result, according to Compete, which monitors and measures Internet traffic.
Yahoo logged 20% of all searches in August, 75% of which led to referrals. Yahoo posted the best referral result among search engine vendors, the survey found. The survey ranked Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Live engine third, with 9% of the search market. About 59% of MSN Live queries generate referrals, the study found.
"Lower search fulfillment numbers mean that on a percentage basis, fewer search queries in that engine resulted in the searcher clicking on a result link," said Jeremy Crane, Compete's director of search and online media in a blog post. "So from this perspective, one might consider Yahoo more effective at getting consumers the results they want."
However, he noted that the "devil is in the details" when using referrals to measure search quality.
For example, Matt Cutts, head of Google's Webspam team, said on Compete's blog that sometimes searchers get answers from the snippets that appear on the results page. Cutts noted that for a query about the number of ounces in a shot glass, Google's results don't require users to click on a link.
"On Yahoo, you don't get any OneBox answer, and the snippets are unclear," Cutts wrote. "You need to click on a result or two to find the answer."
Crane agreed, blogging that "the devil is in the details, and the story is much more complicated than that, but it's always interesting to look at something from a new angle. People using search engines to find the information they are looking for as opposed to using the engine as a navigation tools definitely complicate this rather simple cut of the data I did here."
However, he added, from an online marketing standpoint, "getting people to your site is a critical measure of search engine effectiveness. In this world, the most important thing to look at is actual conversion on the site."
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- How Network Connections Drive Web Application Performance Users around the globe, on all sorts of devices, expect Web applications to function as seamlessly as desktop applications. This paper discusses the...
- Energizing Life's Work If your life's work is about caring for people in a business context, the latest digital and social innovations from IBM can help...
- Become a Social Business in the Cloud Read this solution brief to see how using IBM SmartCloud for Social Business services to become a social business can help your organization...
- Datacenter eGuide Read on to learn what technologies are essential for high-performing data centers today, and to get a glimpse of what the data center...
- It's not too late...Get Your Mobile Questions Answered Live! How can IT provide seamless and secure mobile communications and collaboration for all? Join this live Webcast as IDG asks an expert panel...
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success! All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts