According to results gathered from Thumbshots.com and their new ranking tool, Yahoo search results are getting better and more relevant.
Thumbshots Ranking is a new tool designed to visually study ranking algorithms of various search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Altavista, Alltheweb, MSN, Teoma and Wisenut.
Thumbshots Ranking researchers have been tracking overlaps for popular queries for several months and found a general increase in overlapping search results between Yahoo and Google. There is about 40% overlap in the top 20 results for popular queries taken from Google Zeigeist. The overlap study focuses on the top 20 results because most users do not go beyond the second search results page. Ben Elgin of BusinessWeek acknowledges Yahoo’s improvement. “Today, that lead has narrowed, with Yahoo’s new search engine almost as good as Google”.
Google currently brings in over 50% of the search traffic while Yahoo brings in about 30%. With Yahoo having comparable results as Google, Yahoo is naturally a fierce contender in the search engine world.
The ranking tool displays small thumbnail pictures taken from the free Thumbshots.org, the leading provider of web previews, to help visualize search results. The ranking tool is also useful to analyze the search algorithms employed by various search engines.
In one observation, plurality in search keywords within Google yields very different links. For example, comparing results for “business” and “businesses” shows very little correlation. Users can search deeper by trying variations of the same keyword.
Ranking also varies with reversal in keywords. For example, searching for “dedicated hosting” and “hosting dedicated” within Yahoo will return very different rankings.
Furthermore, search ranking varies significantly with the addition of a single related keyword. For example, searching for “freeware” and “freeware software” within Google will yield 25% overlap only.