Yahoo (for the sake of the article, I’m going to drop the “!”… it’s too frustrating to keep that up) has announced today that their latest version of Yahoo Search has been launched today, with much fanfare. This fanfare has been accompanied by a $100 million ad campaign.
Rather than try and rehash their marketing copy, here are the key highlights directly from Yahoo:
• Intelligent Search Results – Allows you to explore results from key sites and narrow results using different types of SearchMonkey structured data. Over the past few months, even more enhanced results for product, local, entertainment, reference, social, and tech sites have been displayed automatically. With the new search page design, we have made it easier to see these riche results from an increasing number of sites.
• Feature-Rich Experience – Provides quick access to search features that make people’s online lives safer and easier, including Search Scan/SafeSearch (which helps protect you from viruses, spyware, and spam while you search) and Search Pad. Now it will be even easier to return to the research documents you have created while searching.
• Search Assist Expansion – With the new design, our powerful query assistance is still available directly below the search box, but we’ve also incorporated it into the left-hand column for quick access lower on the page, even when the Search Assist layer is hidden. You can use this column to easily explore and discover concepts related to your query. We have added Search Assist to the search box on every Yahoo! page in the U.S. with the launch of a new universal header.
After using search engine for a few quick searches, we’re still not impressed. There seems to be too great a reliance on keywords in the URL, and not enough of an examination of on-page content. Search engines are constantly evolving, so we don’t expect it to remain like this forever, however if this is their big launch, colour us unimpressed. On top of the average results, if you look at the search results, they appear in the exact same style as Google’s. So, Yahoo wants us to switch to another search engine that looks the same, but delivers worse results? Hmm, that would take an amazing advertising campaign.
In an attempt to convince us of switching over, Yahoo is dropping over $100 million on an ad campaign. This campaign will work around the rebranding of their new slogan: “It’s Y!ou”
Pause for a second to take in how painful a slogan that is to use. I’m sure someone with a massive marketing budget, powered by some awesome think tank came up with this. Regardless of personal thoughts about the slogan, Yahoo is not taking the beating on its back. They are doing everything they can to compete with Google.
The biggest issue with Yahoo vs Google is that they seem to be attempting to take Google head on, trying to be better than Google, at what Google does best. Bing on the other hand has tried a different tact, and is wooing potential customers by offering different results to Google, in a hope to help them in a different way. Unless Yahoo does something different soon, we question their ability to penetrate the market, and wonder whether Bing may not come in second in the quest for market share. As we have examined in the past, market share in online industries is a big money winner, and has the potential to make or break a brand in the future.