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Yahoo! Search: A Brief History of the Yahoo! Search Engine

Yahoo! search engine - a brief history of Yahoo!

Yahoo! Search has changed dramatically in recent years from its previous incarnation as the leading directory on the Internet. As one of the first search services to be developed in the early years of the World Wide Web, Yahoo! became a highly regarding directory of sites, categorised by human editors and providing an extensive listing of websites from around the world, supported by a network of regional directory versions.

In 2001 there was uproar in the search community as Yahoo! started to charge businesses for a listing on the directory - with an annual listing fee in the US and a slightly more acceptable once-off submission fee in the UK. However, as the web was growing at a rapid rate, this was Yahoo!'s way of trying to control the number of sites being submitted and to cover their costs and make some revenue from the market.

However, in recent years all directories have struggled to keep pace with the growth in the numbers of new websites and Yahoo! was no exception, so that the decision was made to offer an automated search engine service as the dominant service to support the other areas provided by the company - including mail, shopping and news services. Yahoo! had always used a secondary search engine service to support its directory listings, initially through Inktomi, then with a brief spell partnering with Google, and then back to Inktomi again.

Yahoo!'s intentions became clear in 2004 when it purchased the Overture pay-per-click service, who had only months previously purchased AltaVista and AlltheWeb. Yahoo! also acquired the Inktomi search database and so, in a few months, had become a prominent player in the search market, with access to some of the best search database technology and the founding company of pay-per-click technology.

Yahoo! has now absorbed these tools together into its own search service, with its original directory now relegated to a secondary service behind the main search index results. The index is predominantly based on the Inktomi technology although this will have been combined with any strengths from the once dominant AltaVista search engine and AlltheWeb - both of which are now simply clones of the main Yahoo! search results. Overture has also been renamed Yahoo! Search Marketing and provides a revenue source from paid search advertising, although a large share of this market will be removed once MSN Search launches its own PPC service in 2006.


How to get a high search engine ranking on Yahoo!...

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