Yahoo tops Google in quality of searches, study says

According to a study released this week by Compete Incorporated, 67% of the 7.5 billion monthly searches done by the U.S. online population in August were done using Google and 65% of those prompted a user to click on a result, while Yahoo logged 20% of all searches in August, 75% of which led to referrals. Yahoo posted the best referral result among search engine vendors, the survey found. The survey ranked Microsoft Corporation's MSN Live engine third, with 9% of the search market and about 59% of MSN Live queries generating referrals. "Lower search fulfillment numbers mean that on a percentage basis, fewer search queries in that engine resulted in the searcher clicking on a result link," said Jeremy Crane, Compete's director of search and online media in a blog post.

Matt Cutts, head of Google's Webspam team, noted on Compete's blog that sometimes searchers get answers from the snippets that appear on the results page - in other words, Google's results don't always require users to click on a link. "On Yahoo, you don't get any OneBox answer, and the snippets are unclear. You need to click on a result or two to find the answer," Cutts wrote. Although Crane agreed, he pointed out that "getting people to your site is a critical measure of search engine effectiveness. In this world, the most important thing to look at is actual conversion on the site."

News source: ComputerWorld

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