Everyone has their favorite brands – this holds true across most things people buy; there will be one make of item that hits the sweet spot for them. Search engines are the same, so are social networks. The way the information is organized has a big impact on which one you choose to use – some people will only Tweet; some are Snapchat addicts; some distil their lives into Facebook posts; others WordPress it all. Different horses for different courses and all that.
So, when Firefox changed its default search engine from Google to Yahoo it is sure to have annoyed a few people. You sit there and you type into the search bar and you are expecting a certain outcome, only to be disappointed … it isn’t the data arranged in the way you need it to be; it isn’t what you asked for. It’s great for Yahoo, but the option to change the default search engine back has been seized on by quite a few people, as reflected in the downtrending of Yahoo’s share of paid searches in Firefox, as opposed to Google’s uptrending share.
I like Google – I switched from Yahoo to Gmail quite a while ago, because it is easier to adapt it to whatever needs you have. It has always felt like Yahoo is just a little bit clunkier. Google has a nice suite of apps and they share a uniformity of design, whereas Yahoo seems to be in disagreement on an aesthetic across the different platforms that come under its umbrella.
The latest rumblings are that Yahoo is interested in replacing Google as the default search engine for Safari as well, which would certainly be a coup for them, but again, unless they step up their game is going to have the same stink as that U2 album that dropped like an unwanted turd into most peoples Itunes playlist.
While all this is going on with some of these older players in the search engine market, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook have indexed over a Trillion pages and that they are rolling out changes to the way you can search on the social network. Predictions of what the impact is going to be on the other players in this market have been flying around. The question is, what benefit would there be in Facebook trading in its uniqueness as a social networking platform, to become just another search engine? That is if it were to be that and not some new interesting hybrid. Google must be a little nervous – Yahoo definitely should be. Something about Yahoo smacks of old slippers and armchairs. Google rolls on seemingly monolithic, but teething issues with Glass and the loss of the Mozilla partnership may be a sign of significant chinks in the armor. Facebook may be hungry enough and skiful enough to chew them all up and spit them out without doing anything other than moving forward with their own agenda, while Yahoo and Google pick over the carcass of a market that may have moved on.