Is it just me or Google consistently loses its "long tail" in search (during last half year or so) ? By long tail I mean stats distribution of more esoteric search terms vs. more common search terms (esoteric terms = long tail - yellow on the graph). Historically being strong in long tail niche is what made it possible for google to make the revolution in search and become #1 as far as overall internet search market share is concerned. Lately I find it more and more difficult to find something in google when you're trying to search for less common term or subject. More and more times I observe blatant non-relevant results on the first page. On the other hand - if I search for something that I definitely know belongs to some common-known niche or is owned by a bunch of people in the community - google is the king.
Yahoo is stronger in vertical search
Yahoo quitely has become stronger than google as far as vertical search is concerned. This happened because:
- Yahoo acquired a bunch of web 2.0 companies related to vertical search field such as:
See for example screencast by Jeremy Zawodny Comparing Searching for Current Events (Google vs. Yahoo). Or just check out Yahoo search term post by Rand Fishkin. There are a bunch of people in the comments to his post that are migrating over to Yahoo.
- Yahoo developed its own vertical related services like myweb and yahoo 360.
- Yahoo always positioned itself as the largest internet portal with numerous services, that take various niches.
Big sites have become stronger in internal search
Sites such as Wikipedia and MSDN have become much stronger searching their own sites than in the past. In order to find some useful info - many times people go directly to MSDN or to Wikipedia to search there instead of googling MSDN or using google search operators to search specific domain. Which had been a common practice just 2 years ago.
Google has become more aggressive filtering content
Google index and policies are much more sophisticated now than 2 or 3 years ago. From one hand it helped them leave live, ask and yahoo far behind in the search market. From the other hand more and more esoteric search terms and sites been filtered or put into supplemental index.
Taking all this into account - is there someone ready to take the lead ? Not really. Right now Yahoo has the largest index and started to eat away long tail gap slowly. So google has to be aware because things can change very quickly.
Saturday, March 17, 2007 4:51 AM