Friday, April 22, 2005

Yahoo's relevancy may be catching Google, says French study

A study carried out by Le Journal du Net has concluded that Google is still ahead of Yahoo and MSN in terms of the relevancy of results presented - but the gap has narrowed between Google and nearest rival, Yahoo, especially in certain specific categories. But MSN still has some catching up to do.

Le Journal du Net examined 25 different scenarios - 15 simple and 10 complex - and then scored the results presented against a defined set of criteria.

The conclusions were that overall, Google remains in the lead, but Yahoo has narrowed the gap by several points in certain categories - particuarly related to commercial searches where JDN actually put Yahoo ahead. On pure information queries, Google remains in control but the study also noted that from the 4th result onwards the quality of the result has declined from the previous study a year ago.

Perhaps the most intriguing comment is that Yahoo's results feature less circular results - in other words pages that give the same information duplicated or lead indirectly back to the same information.

Google wins when it comes to the elimination of 'cloaking' or spam pages - an area in which MSN in particular needs to improve.

Googles sponsored links are also classed as more relevant than the competition's and the best integrated with the natural results.