Friday, February 19, 2010

Ubuntu's New Yahoo Search Engine - Is It Up To The Task?

Anybody who is interested should know by now that Ubuntu is switching from Google to Yahoo as its default search engine. Of course this change can be reverted very easily for those who prefer Google. However, it is the n00bs that will be most affected by the change as they will most probably just continue using the default search engine in blissful ignorance.

From my experience in forums, the biggest problem I see with new users is that they do not know how/what to search for when faced with a problem. And this is where the search engine used becomes vital to quickly finding a possible answer. What is the point in scolding new users for not searching before asking if the default search engine does not bring the most relevant information to them. More so when the user searches for vague or inaccurate terms.

So, I decided to put the two search engines to the test. I did a few searches on both engines using terms that I think new users would use and for problems new users would likely face. The 10 links below will run the same search in both engines. You be the judge of how good the results are and how fast they were provided. Here we go!

What is your conclusion? Which engine provided the better results? Does the search engine really make a difference? What other searches would a new user run? Leave a comment below!


Anonymous said...

This test will be even more exciting when Yahoo has replaced their search engine with Microsofts Bing engine...

Shane said...

I deliberately decided to leave the Bing deal out of the equation because I don't trust Google any more than I do Microsoft. They are both corporations looking to make a profit. The difference is that I use Google products.

I actually tried to use Bing as my default search engine just to see what it is all about. All I can say is that I was back on Google within a couple of days.

Ultimately, if Bing can provide a good service to Ubuntu users and at the same time allow Ubuntu to be financially self-sustaining, then Ubuntu and its users win. I think being profitable is necessary if Ubuntu is going to fix their bug #1.

Ta-Wan said...

did you try searching this in Yahoo?

'how to use google search in ubuntu'

Many of the yahoo results were acceptable. A useful result was on the main page.

Google though was able to hit the top spot nearly every time with well chosen suggestions.

Shane said...

Hi Ta-Wan,

I should have added that search... it isn't pretty lol.

From the searches I did, the worst Yahoo result is in the second test. But adding 'ubuntu' to the search terms makes it a lot better.

I have Google web history disabled and I logged out just in case before doing the tests, but Google just seems to know what I'm thinking. It's kinda creepy.