The War on Search Just Got Interesting

Image representing Yahoo! as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Well, Yahoo has a lot to be all smiles about today.

In a bold move aimed at taking on Google,  the clear leader in search right now, Yahoo has decided to abandon its own search efforts and instead form an alliance with who else but Microsoft and their new engine, Bing.

The end of Yahoo search hits a particular pang with anyone who was online during the Internet’s infancy, like I was. Yahoo search used to be the defacto 500-lb gorilla of search engines. When there weren’t really any pages that heard of anything like Flash, PHP, or dynamic web content, Yahoo was there to index them all. With a comprehensive categorizing of popular genres, Yahoo search dominated the beginnings of what would become the World Wide Web.

But as the 21st century came and progressed, a simple little search engine with none of the bells and whistles of Yahoo’s offerings began to chink away at Yahoo’s armor, until it eventually dealt a near-fatal blow. Google’s simplicity, high relevance rating, and growing set of tools made it the search engine of choice for many a browser, and Yahoo retreated into its other multimedia offerings – messaging, email, and websites – all of which Google has also invaded.

So to stop the bleeding, Yahoo has decided to partner with the only other entity capable of taking on Google’s “Don’t Be Evil” love-fest, and that’s its antithesis, Microsoft. While this means that Yahoo search finally goes the way of the dodo, this creates a ton of other possibilities for Microsoft, whose release of the Bing engine has been met with skepticism and caution. Leveraging the Yahoo partnership will pay dividends, and Yahoo will benefit from juggernaut backup and ad sales that should keep it afloat.

A lot of people might be worried about an unholy matrimony of Yahoo and Microsoft creating an evil empire to take on Google’s free-wheeling thinktank, but honestly, the end user ultimately wins. There’s nothing like a little competition – legitimate, threatworthy competition – for creating some innovation and oneupsmanship in a bid to snag us, the customers. With all the offers, contests, advertising, and ideas that will be tossed between Micro-Yahoo and Google, we’ll ultimately see some return on whichever side we choose. Of course, you never know – you might see someone else step up to the plate and undercut both search engines in an amazing coup of innovation.

Good times are afoot for searching for your favorite things on the internet, folks. Hold on – it’s gonna be a wild ride.

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