Today’s headline suggests that Yahoo Wins Gold Medal for Online Olympic Traffic.
As U.S. workers continue to check out the Olympics online during the work week, Yahoo is beating the competition in drawing eyes to its Olympic content. But if you are in management, don’t freak out. Peak time for your employees’ daily Olympic fix is lunch time.
That can hardly be regarded as a complete answer to the question that David “Doc” Searls posed, “Is Yahoo a better search engine than Google?”
Clusty got its start in Pittsburgh, PA in 2004 when the search software company Vivísimo decided to take its award-winning search technology to the web.
Vivísimo was founded in 2000 by three Carnegie Mellon University scientists who decided to tackle the problem of information overload in web search. Rather than focusing just on search engine result ranking, we realized that grouping results into topics, or “clustering,” made for better search and discovery. As search became a necessity for web users, Vivísimo developed a service robust enough to handle the variety of information the everyday web user was after. The result was Clusty: an innovative way to get more out of every search.
Doc Searls had checked a few searches for old blog items in affirming the superiority of Yahoo. It is an intriguing question. Clearly a well-founded answer would require much testing. However a quick check might confirm whether he was on to something. I therefore checked out the performance of the three, Yahoo, Google and Clusty, on some of my old blog posts. The blog posts were all present in the databases for Yahoo and Google, so this was a measure of how well they could deliver results from their databases.
To provide a topical summary measure, I decided to award gold, silver and bronze medals in each event. The gold medal was worth three points, the silver medal two points and the bronze one point. Here are the detailed results for searches for these phrases. They were done without quotes. The phrases were chosen at random so although the sample is small, it should be representative. NF indicates that the blog post was not found in the first 100 results
- Performance has a whole host of associations that work well, particularly considering the sports analogy.
- #1 Yahoo #1 Clusty #4 Google (61,000 entries)
- Does UPS own Brown as part of its brand?
- NF Yahoo #6 Clusty #3 Google (365,000 entries)
- This is because the use of Frames in web design causes all sorts of problems so that most savvy web designers do not use them.
- NF Yahoo #1 Clusty #3 Google (314,000 entries)
- They’re even talking about a place for bludgers.
- #7 Yahoo #1 Clusty NF Google (65,500 entries)
- It’s intriguing to think of the Internet as an Open Space as in Open Space Technology.
- NF Yahoo NF Clusty #8 Google (87,100 entries)
- ReCellular has more than half the U.S. phone recycling business.
- #23 Yahoo #23 Clusty NF Google (714 entries)
Which search engine had the best medal standing? As mentioned, Medal Scores were assigned as follows:
3 for Gold, 2 for Silver, 1 for Bronze.
This gave the following results.
Yahoo 10.5 | Clusty 14.5 | Google 11
The minimum medal score would be 6 and the maximum 18.
… and the winner is Clusty. If these results were substantiated in more extensive testing, then the major search engines might have to take Clusty seriously. Google of course has a huge advance on the rest of the field. However if Yahoo’s possible superiority opens up the question, then questioners may possibly become aware of the little search engine that could.
If you would like to see a short video summary of this, then you can play the following:
The video itself, Is Yahoo Beating Google, can be found on YouTube.