Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Yahoo! gives up quest for search dominance

It's immensely frustrating for me to read this article about Yahoo saying that it's content with their market share in the search engine business.

For one, I think Google is beatable. Currently, the search engine is by far better than any competitors; but it seems like their desire to release so many products has left their bread and butter product, the search engine, at best stagnant innovation-wise and at worst, outmoded with what is really needed to sort out relevant information from the junk.

I think about things this way. When I use Adobe Photoshop for graphic design or an Avid for editing video, I constantly am becoming smarter about my work because of the tool itself. The toolset in each respective product is so deep that as I learn more of the tool, the work I can achieve becomes more sophisticated and then in turn, I use the tool in a more complex way, which lets me learn even more. Furthermore, each release of the products have always taken things one step further - in other words, the constant evolution of the tool has allowed it to remain a more capable tool than what I really need it to do.

My experiences with Google's search engine, on the other hand, have grown increasingly frustrating. As with any tool, I have grown accustomed to using it over the years and my level of expectation as a result has grown. However, as I have asked for increasingly sophisticated queries, the results have been as bad or even worse than any other search engine.

So to hear Yahoo say it's giving up just means a significant lack of imagination and thought on their part about the market and searches in general. In addition, it's a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy. It discourages others from trying to come up with new ideas to compete with Google, which in turn makes it harder to beat them.

So Yahoo, get your freakn act together. Geez.

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