Friday, February 01, 2008

Another Reason Not To Use Yahoo Search

So Yahoo is laying off more people as it loses even more grounds to Google. I guess in my case, I very seldom use Yahoo search anymore. But once in a while, I do. However, this latest "incident" simply reinforced the reason why I don't use it that often.

We all know that all these search engines try to make money off advertisements. They all use some "contextual" advertisement that is relevant to what you were searching for. So of course, if you do a search for "physics", websites that have relevance to that topic will come up as in the advertisement area of your search page. That's nothing new. However, when you do a search for "physics" on Yahoo, you tend to get not only physics-related websites, but also psychic-related websites!

Now I know fully well that (i) this also some time occurs when you do a Google search and (ii) the "intelligent" software is trying to make account for possible misspelling of the word. Since "physics" and "psychic" is close enough, I can see why they would both come up together (I won't go into the advertisement for crackpot websites, which both Yahoo and Google are guilty of). Still, Yahoo is notorious for putting up a lot of these psychic websites after such search, way more than what you would find using Google. And heaven forbid if you go to one of the physics-related Yahoo groups. There's plenty of psychic website advertisement.

This is a screen snapshot that I got after one of my recent excursion to do a Yahoo search on "physics".

As you can see, the whole list of web advertisement is for psychic websites! I mean, c'mon!

It is sad that while their spelling may be similar, these two can't be more further apart. It is a night-and-day difference in what they do, how they go about their business, etc. In other words, these advertisement for psychic websites are highly annoying, at least to me. But then again, I've been know to not have a lot of patience for such nonsense.

I wrote earlier on how we some time we get people who can't spell very well coming into the IRC physics chat channel. They were looking for some "reading" in the physics channel, when, of course, they were looking for the "psychic" channel. We had a lot of fun at their expense, I'm sorry to say. :) Maybe Yahoo is trying to cater for these people who can't spell very well. Now, it would only be fair that they also get physics websites when they do a search on "psychics". But then again, how are they to know that they're reading a legitimate webpage and not some crackpottery? Maybe they'll like the crackpottery more! Oy vey!


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