Yahoo’s technology will never catch up to Google’s because it would involve changing much more than just their search.
A fundamental part of why Yahoo is inferior to Google is inherent in the websites’ intent and in the way they each sell advertising space. When the internet became commercialized, Yahoo was one of the leading websites on the web. Google was actually developed by two graduate students who wanted better search results when they used the internet. It is easy to remember a time when all you got was really irrelevant search results. This is because results came from the sites that had the most appearances of the searched key words. Programmers started to take advantage of this by putting invisible lines of code with repeating search words so that their websites would come up first in search results.
Google was the first to really focus on search. They developed an algorithm that is based on connections. Sites that are often visited and linked to from other sites are judged to be relevant. That is why Google searches come up with far better results than most others. What a lot of people don’t know is that before Google was created, the two students who created this algorithm offered to sell it to Yahoo. Yahoo declined. They weren’t interested in search because they are a portal. They want to provide people with in-house results and they weren’t concerned with people finding relevant results as long as they were part of their portal.
Of course, internet users quickly made Google the more popular of the two because Google allowed them to actually find what they were looking for. And since then, Yahoo along with other searches have tried to come up with a similar algorithm and to gain back some of the share they lost to Google. But since Yahoo is still very much a portal, results are biased towards their own site. They also sell advertising that can corrupt searches and pop up in your results. Google on the other hand, doesn’t allow sponsored links anywhere near your search results and you can see when you perform a search the Sponsored Links section at the top and side of the screen.
Advertisers, of course, love that Google makes their search results relevant to users as opposed to Yahoo’s use of irrelevant banner ads. Since more people use Google, advertisers are more likely to place ads there. So on top of already being better in the search game, they have higher and more consistent profit.
Try as they might, Yahoo is having a hard time creating a good search algorithm comparable to the one Google has had in place and been perfecting for years. In addition, even if they began using the exact same search algorithm, they would still just be playing catch up in an arena where Google is already king. They would have to offer the same and so much more for people to start switching. Google has proved that there are no other sites better for search.