Search Engine Homepage Content Olympiads

Google and Yahoo have always been on different paths in the quest for being king of the hill among search engines. But as I went to each site looking for Olympic updates & information, I noticed a glaringly obvious difference between the Gold & the Bronze when it came to their homepage content strategy for the 2012 London Games.  As the two giants regularly tussle for domination of their sectors, is the competition fierce for the web visitors and advertising dollars during the games?  As it’s been pointed out on several occasions, Yahoo has (or “is” based on opinion) a big branded advertising business and isn’t shy about it. Google is all search – you get no advertising on its homepage whatsoever.  One could say that Yahoo’s homepage creates a schizophrenic type atmosphere and Google chooses to reflect why people go to any search engine at all – to simply search. Each has a diametrical perspective; which may or may not be shared by minimalistic loving web surfers or those who want to know everything every moment of every day.

Now it may just simply be “tomato v. tomahto” – all up to the users choice of flavor. Let’s see where these two rivals stand on the content podium for the 2012 Olympic Games looking at just this one, but VERY TELLING facet – the homepage. For this year’s Olympics, you can almost see the tumbleweed across Google’s homepage with nothing more than a clip-artish image above its unapologetic, simplistic search box. Whereas Yahoo completely capitalizes on the opportunity to lavish (and possibly overwhelm) you with up-to-the-minute stats on what sport is broadcasting, which country is leading in medals, and all note & news-worthy headlines from every vantage point of this historical event.
Could it be that the choice of a clip-artish image was a passive-aggressive “thumbing of the nose” at Yahoo’s voracious need for your attention?  If so, Google gets benched on the therapy couch for this one…lol.  But before they end up neck and neck for your search engine loyalty, what finds them at the same starting line is the intent of the user.  If one chooses to be in the know, then Yahoo wins hands-down because it is in part what they do best.  Yahoo hand-holds you every day, all day- showing you what’s hot (and not) and postings about every media event worldwide. They actually look to be a strategic partner with both their advertisers and users alike. So you are ALWAYS in the loop, whether you want to be or not when just searching for let’s say a great vinaigrette recipe.

Die-hard Google fans will say that their fearless leader displays a search engine decorum truly lacking in their competitor and that if people want news, the can get news BUT only when they ask for news.  They provide a discriminating à la carte rather than a force feeding approach. At the end of the day, Yahoo hands down is a true entertainment portal capable of satisfying various entertainment and leisure users.  For better or for worst, Google isn’t trying to be an entertainment portal, so it doesn’t even come close to competing with Yahoo in this regard.

So as far as the 2012 Search Engine Homepage Olympics are concerned, Yahoo’s neck is a little more laden than its competitor. Now I know that Goolge lovers might say that “everything that glitters isn’t gold”…Well I guess you’re not Yahoo then are you?  LOL.

2 replies
  1. Bill Todd
    Bill Todd says:

    Your statement in the next-to-last paragraph says it all. When it comes to being an entertainment portal, Yahoo is the clear winner. How does that affect the quality of the search engine, though? You hit it about halfway through: If I want to search, I’ll use Google. If I’m looking for entertainment, I’ll go to Yahoo. But all the “awesome” and “jaw-dropping” and “mysterious” taglines in the scroller just take away from any credibility Yahoo might have.

    Getting your news from Yahoo is a waste of time, because they feed you what they think people will click on, not what’s really important.

    (Oh, and by the way, every “lol” is a strike against you. It’s fine on Facebook or in a tweet, but we’re not 15 anymore.)

    • ybarber
      ybarber says:

      Thank you for your comment Mr. Todd – I appreciate your perspective and it seems that we agree on the fact that Yahoo is indeed more than a search engine as commonly defined. I believe that it once was as simplistic as Google, however they saw the $ that advertisers would spend to use some of their real estate and couldn’t pass up the “good” deal. Thus becoming the entertainment portal we both agree they’ve become.

      Regarding being news-worthy, in the case of the Olympics, I respectfully disagree and feel they’ve done a great job giving the highlights right up front. And right now, yes they are feeding what most people want.

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