Yahoo! Search

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This article is about the Yahoo search engine. For the corporation, see Yahoo.
Yahoo Search
Yahoo! logo.svg
Yahoo Search page.jpg
Yahoo Search
Web address
Commercial? Yes
Type of site
Web search engine
Registration Optional
Available in Multilingual (40)
Written in PHP[1]
Owner Yahoo
Launched March 1, 1995
Alexa rank
Steady 4 (February 2015)[2]
Current status Active

Yahoo Search is a web search engine owned by Yahoo. As of February 2015 it is the third largest search engine in the US by the query volume at 12.8%, after its competitors Google at 64.5% and Bing at 19.8%.[3]

Originally, "Yahoo Search" referred to a Yahoo-provided interface that sent queries to a searchable index of pages supplemented with its directory of websites. The results were presented to the user under the Yahoo brand. Originally, none of the actual web crawling and data housing was done by Yahoo itself. In 2001, the searchable index was powered by Inktomi and later was powered by Google until 2004, when Yahoo Search became independent. On July 29, 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo announced a deal in which Bing would henceforth power Yahoo Search.[4]

Search technology acquisition[edit]

Seeking to provide its own search engine results, Yahoo acquired their own search technology. In 2002, they bought Inktomi, a "behind the scenes" or OEM search engine provider, whose results are shown on other companies' websites and powered Yahoo in its earlier days. In 2003, they purchased Overture Services, Inc., which owned the AlltheWeb and AltaVista search engines. Initially, even though Yahoo owned multiple search engines, they didn't use them on the main website, but kept using Google's search engine for its results.

Starting in 2003, Yahoo Search became its own web crawler-based search engine, with a reinvented crawler called Yahoo Slurp. Yahoo Search combined the capabilities of all the search engine companies they had acquired, with its existing research, and put them into a single search engine. The new search engine results were included in all of Yahoo's websites that had a web search function. Yahoo also started to sell the search engine results to other companies, to show on their own websites. Their relationship with Google was terminated at that time, with the former partners becoming each other's main competitors.

In October 2007, Yahoo Search was updated with a more modern appearance in line with the redesigned Yahoo home page. In addition, Search Assist was added; which provides real-time query suggestions and related concepts as they are typed.

In July 2008, Yahoo Search announced the introduction of a new service called "Build Your Own Search Service," or BOSS. This service opens the doors for developers to use Yahoo's system for indexing information and images and create their own custom search engine.[5]

In July 2009, Yahoo signed a deal with Microsoft, the result of which was that Yahoo Search was henceforth powered by Bing and Microsoft gets a 12% cut from all revenue that Yahoo makes from ads displayed alongside search results on the Yahoo website.[4]

Yahoo Search blog and announcements[edit]

The team at Yahoo Search frequently blogged about search announcements, features, updates and enhancements. The Yahoo Search Blog, as stated provided A look inside the world of search from the people at Yahoo.[6] This included index updates named Weather Updates and their Yahoo Search Assist feature.

International presence[edit]

Yahoo Search also provided their search interface in at least 38 international markets and a variety of available languages.[7] Yahoo has a presence in Europe, Asia and across the Emerging Markets.


Search results[edit]

Yahoo Search indexed and cached the common HTML page formats, as well as several of the more popular file-types, such as PDF, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint, Word documents, RSS/XML and plain text files. For some of these supported file-types, Yahoo Search provided cached links on their search results allowing for viewing of these file-types in standard HTML. Using the Advanced Search interface or Preferences settings, Yahoo Search allowed the customization of search results and enabling of certain settings such as: SafeSearch, Language Selection, Number of results, Domain restrictions, etc.[8] For a Basic and starter guide to Yahoo Search, they also provided a Search Basics tutorial.[9] In 2005, Yahoo began to provide links to previous versions of pages archived on the Wayback Machine.[10] In the first week of May 2008, Yahoo launched a new search mash up called Yahoo Glue, which is in beta testing.[11]

Selection-based search[edit]

On June 20, 2007, Yahoo introduced a selection-based search feature called Yahoo Shortcuts. When activated this selection-based search feature enabled users to invoke search using only their mouse and receive search suggestions in floating windows while remaining on Yahoo properties such as Yahoo Mail. This feature was only active on Yahoo web pages or pages within the Yahoo Publisher Network. Yahoo Shortcuts required the content-owner to modify the underlying HTML of his or her webpage to call out the specific keywords to be enhanced. The technology for context-aware selection-based search on Yahoo pages was first developed by Reiner Kraft.[12]


SearchScan in action

On May 11, 2008, Yahoo introduced SearchScan. If enabled this add-on/feature enhanced Yahoo Search by automatically alerting users of viruses, spyware and spam websites.[13]

Search verticals[edit]

Yahoo Search provided the ability to search across numerous vertical properties outside just the Web at large. These included Images, Videos, Local, Shopping, Yahoo Answers, Audio, Directory, Jobs, News, Mobile, Travel and various other services as listed on their About Yahoo Search page.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roger Chapman. "Top 40 Website Programming Languages". Retrieved September 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ "Alexa yahoo traffic results". Alexa. Retrieved 2013-02-01. 
  3. ^ Lella, Adam (2015-03-17). "comScore Releases February 2015 U.S. Desktop Search Engine Rankings". Retrieved 2015-03-18. 
  4. ^ a b "Microsoft and Yahoo seal web deal". BBC News. 2009-07-29. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  5. ^ "Yahoo Opens Up Search Technology Infrastructure for Innovative, New Search Experiences, Providing Third Parties with Unprecedented Access, Re-Ranking and Presentation Control of Web Search Results". Yahoo. July 10, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  6. ^ "Yahoo Search Blog". Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  7. ^ "Yahoo international presence". Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ Search Basics tutorial[dead link]
  10. ^ Yahoo Cache Now Offers Direct Links to Wayback Machine Search Engine Watch, September 18 2005
  11. ^ Hopkins, Mark (2008-11-13). "Yahoo! Glue Launches in America". Retrieved 2015-02-21. 
  12. ^ Yahoo Shortcuts[dead link]
  13. ^ "Yahoo SearchScan information page". Retrieved 2012-11-10. 

External links[edit]