Default search engine quest ends

by Donna Fontenot December 31st, 2006 

Back on 12/11, I mentioned that I was on a quest to find a new default search engine. For one week each, I was going to try Yahoo, MSN, and Ask. This past week was Ask's turn. All in all, it fared pretty well, with only a few disappointments. It didn't however, do well enough to supplant Yahoo in my tests, so Yahoo is the big winner for me. From now on, I will be using Yahoo as my default search engine, and I will alternate between using Ask, MSN, and Google whenever Yahoo fails to provide what I am looking for.

So, why did I head down this path? Google's unstable results and constant changes frustrated me enough to want to switch. If none of the other search engines had satisfied my searching needs, I would have had no choice but to stick with Google. But I felt that I'd never given the others a fair chance at winning me over. Each of them had always been my substitute search engines, but I'd never searched exclusively with any of them. My gut told me that one of them was likely going to satisfy my needs, if I just gave them a chance. As usual, my gut was right.

So here's to you, Yahoo! You are now my #1 search engine. (Just keep in mind that the next time I'm dissatisfied, I won't hesitate to try out others).

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7 Responses to “Default search engine quest ends”

  1. earlpearl says:

    Could you characterize where MSN and Ask fell short. Also how is Y better than G


  2. DazzlinDonna says:

    I hesitate to give too much detail, mainly because I believe it is mostly subjective. Your experience with each will probably be different than mine. Your search terms will be different than mine, and that alone could make the experience vastly different. In general, I'd say Ask didn't really fall short…just a tiny bit less satisfying than Yahoo was. MSN wasn't bad, but I had to resort to other search engines a bit more often than any other. As for Y being better than G…well, lets just say that Yahoo is more consistent. Google's ever-changing SERPs means that one day it may be great and the next it may be terrible. Yahoo on the other hand sticks with what it believes to be the best results for a longer period of time. I'd personally rather have that stability in my searches.

    Still, I want to emphasize that this was my own personal quest, and I am not saying that any one of them is the best choice for you. I am, however, encouraging others to give the other search engines a real chance at winning them over. I have a feeling that nearly everyone uses one engine out of habit, or out of a belief that one is inherently better than another. Some of those people, after running a test, might change their minds, and some may not. But only after giving the others my exclusive time was I able to determine which was really right for me.

  3. McD says:

    All sound, no substance. If you're going to entice people to switch their choice in Search- better yet, if you're going to write about changing your choice in Search- validate it with some real information.

    You say Ask fared well, with a few disappointments. You say Yahoo is the big winner. Why? This tells me nothing without knowing by what criteria you were using to judge them. Knowing that Yahoo helped you find what you were looking for 99% of the time tells me nothing without knowing what you were looking for. Maybe you like to look for soup recipes, or medical information on your cat. I buy my soup in a can. I don't like cats. So I can't relate your results to my needs in Search without knowing what you're searching for.

    Not to be callous, of course… my point is, I've made it a point to read just about all of your posts for the last few months. If I'm going to come back to read more- if anyone is going to come back for more- it's going to be for real substance; real results and information. Supply opinions without information, I don't learn anything by reading the "article". I'm sure you've heard the common analogy between opinions and that other thing every person on the planet has.

    Respectfully submitted,
    — McD

  4. DazzlinDonna says:

    You're right, McD. But as I mentioned in the comment above, no amount of substance that I could possibly give would make a bean's worth of difference when what you search for is going to be vastly different than what I search for. My searches were all over the map…pretty much everything from soup recipes to medical information for my cat, as you say. For me, personally, Yahoo gave me substance. It may not do the same for you. For some, my posts may provide substance to the readers, and for some it may not. Both are choices to be made. My only point was that I gave the other search engines a fighting chance to sway me, and that I think it would be useful for others to do the same. But I stand firm in the belief that giving search terms, percentages, numbers, and the like wouldn't have benefited anyone else personally any more than not giving them would have. As the old saying goes, "your mileage may vary".

  5. McD says:

    You miss the point. When I took science courses in college, and had to do a lab report, I wasn't doing it because I had any interest in the calculated results of the experiment. I didn't do it to teach the professor anything, either… he already has his PhD.

    No, the purpose of documenting the variables and statistical results of my experiment was to validate the time I spent performing the experiment. It's easy to say, "I calcinated the borax, and it produced better glass." That's a great statement. It's probably true. But without any numbers, data, hypothesis, conclusions- some type of reasoning behind the statement, it's just an empty statement.

    You're right when you say that your searches don't have any direct relevance to me. That's half the reason that you need to include them, though- because in the words of Gin Rummy, "You have known knowns, and you have known unknowns. But then you have unknown unknowns."

    The conclusion that Yahoo works great for you, based on searches that are probably irrelevant to me, is an unknown unknown, if you will. I can't know how relevant your experiment was to me if I don't have anything to go on. If you posted some conclusive data, even if the searches WERE for soup recipes and cat medicine, I could at least try to put myself in the shoes of the person who searches for these kinds of things and draw the conclusion that Yahoo is, in fact, a better search engine for people who make their own soup and heal their own cats.

    What you've given us here is the equivalent of saying, "Yahoo is great. I won't tell you why, but seriously- it's great." Not very useful information. I'm not sure it counts as information at all, because all you've informed me of is your preference toward Yahoo over other engines… which, without any evidence, isn't relevant to me or the work I do in this industry at all.

    Just my two cents.

  6. mvandemar says:

    my point is, I’ve made it a point to read just about all of your posts for the last few months. If I’m going to come back to read more- if anyone is going to come back for more- it’s going to be for real substance; real results and information.

    But McD, you give us no information about why you've made a point about coming here and reading all of her posts in the last few months, no hard data as to why we should allow your opinions to sway whether or not the blog post itself was a good read. Were you truly interested in what was being offered? Or were you just acting out of compulsive internet stalking? It makes a difference how people treat your opinion.

    There is a difference between an opinion based on several weeks worth of trying out each search engine, which is what was supplied here, and a hardcore in depth analysis in where you record each and every search, chart all of the results, mark differences from one day to the next, record each result and categorize everything into every possible grouping you can think of, which this was not.

    DD wasn't hired by Yahoo to convert you to their cult, she was giving her (respected by many) opinion on the matter. If you trust her opinion (or even if you are just stalking her), and happen to read this post, then you might want to try for yourself what she did, see if you happen to agree with her. You're right, your searches will probably not match hers. Therefore drawing conclusions on how useful using Yahoo will be to you based on what she searched for is about as useless as making analogies between your chemistry class and this blog post.

    Just my 2 cents in return.


  7. DazzlinDonna says:

    Admittedly, my style as a blogger is different than others. I rarely crunch numbers or show pretty charts. Some bloggers do that, and it does make for a nice read and nice link bait. But SEO Scoop isn't here for any purpose other than to share my thoughts as an SEO with anyone who wants to read them. I pretty much don't actively try to get links or attention, unless I'm doing some sort of test. Until recently, this blog was a hopeless failure in terms of profitability, but I kept on blogging just because. If I occasionally (or often) fail to write a compelling post, or disappoint, what can I say? I appreciate feedback, however, and will consider any criticism I receive. But at the end of the day, I am who I am, and I'll likely keep on being that way. :)