Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Business

Search engines Yahoo and Google compete on index size

Robert Beerworth Team : Web Strategy Tags : Business

Born in 1998, Google was bought up by two graduates Larry Page and Sergey Brin. A year later Google went private securing $25 million in funding and resulted in delivering one of the most sophisticated search engines that history will remember.

Delivering results to over 200 million search queries a day, Google has emerged with other software products and web services such as desktop search, online shopping search for price comparison - Froogle, image organizer – Picasa, the infamous Gmail web mail and recently a VOIP application called Google Talk.

Yahoo, established in 1994 also funded by two Ph.D. students David Filo and Jerry Yang, started off as a site allowing users to communicate with one another, share information and purchase online. So what got them to being a successful site? The true story of David and Jerry who gathered their favourites links along with description for each. Eventually the list became too long and they decided to categories them. When categories were in abundance they decided to further subcategorise them and thus resulted in the core concept of Yahoo.

Looking back at the brief history of these two now direct competitors, we shall take a look at the present the two are at battling out to bring the best services to end users like as ourselves.

Both search engines started to allow users over the web to buy rights to keywords over their search engine therefore opening up Pandora’s Box of profit. Thus if one possessed the rights to the keywords ‘website design’ they can have their site rank higher at a price. Thus competitors started a game of climbing the ladder to have their site listed top. End of the day, the search engines profited. This was initially started of by Overture and its footsteps were followed by Google. Yahoo started outsourcing their ad network to Google until it realised that Google turned out to be their rival and partnered with Overture.

MSN in the mean time attempted to purchase Google; however failing to do so resulted in them having to spend enormous amount of resources to better its search capabilities.

To quote Bank of America Securities believe that the internet “is in the midst of a multi-year share grab of ad dollars, with Yahoo! and Google poised to be among the biggest beneficiaries”

While ad dollars are being spent on the internet, the increase in growth is fairly slow. Towards to the US Market advertising on the internet makes up 5.1% of the total advertising revenue. Meeting a percentage of 15 to 20 would meet similar amounts spent on newspaper advertising in the US market.

Google then gave birth to Gmail providing users with 1GB of email capacity at its first launch. Today it provided 2645MB of space. Yahoo, realising a short fall in competition increased their capacity to 1GB for all existing and new members. Hotmail still struggles to provide more than 250MB (which is only available in certain countries). But this cannot be argued as Microsoft dominated the email market at one stage with over a billion hotmail users. To increase the capacity to 1GB for each would require a fair amount of investment.

Following ideas from one other all three search engines provide Web, News and Image search. MSN and Google have started imported Desktop search, while Yahoo improves on its video search and music download software.

So while Microsoft comes into play, Google and Yahoo! head out to the battlefield.

Recently Google posed the question as to how many pages it has indexed. Instead of revealing the answers like it usually does on the Google homepage, they have decided to remove this figure and ask users to guess the number of pages it has indexed till date.

Mr Schmidt at Google hinted that the index size would be three times the last shown amount (8,168,684,336).

In response to this Yahoo who last month claimed that they had indexed over 19.2 billion documents stated:

“We congratulate Google on removing the index size number from its home page and recognising that it is a meaningless number. As we‘ve said in the past, what matters is that the consumers find what they are looking for, and we invite Google users to compare their results to Yahoo Search.”

Google, furious with Yahoo’s count of 19.2 billion, bitterly returned words exclaiming Yahoo overstated their index by counting duplicate information.

Search engine competitors stated that it is not size that matters but the relevant content and its freshness to the search keywords.