Yahoo! Search

Yahoo! Search is a web search engine owned by Yahoo, headquartered in Sunnyvale, California.[3] As of October 2018, it is the second largest search engine worldwide across all platforms with 2.32% market share.[4]

As of July 2018, Microsoft Sites handled 24.2 percent of all search queries in the United States. During the same period of time, Oath (formerly known as Yahoo) had a search market share of 11.5 percent. Market leader Google generated 63.2 percent of all core search queries in the United States.[5]

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.[6]

Yahoo! Search
Yahoo! logo
2019 Screenshot of Yahoo!
Yahoo! Search page
Type of site
Web search engine
Available inMultilingual (40)
Alexa rank9 (As of 14 May 2019)[1]
LaunchedMarch 2, 1995
Current statusActive
Written inPHP[2]

Search technology acquisition

The roots of Search date back to 1995 with Yahoo! Directory. 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.

Ysearch 2005
Yahoo! Search page in 2005

Starting on April 7, 2003, Yahoo! Search became its own web crawler-based search engine.[7] They combined the capabilities of search engine companies they had acquired and their prior research into a reinvented crawler called Yahoo Slurp. 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.

Ysearch 2008
Yahoo! Search page in 2008

In July 2008, Yahoo! Search announced the introduction of a new service called Yahoo! Search BOSS ("Build your Own Search Engine"). This service opens the doors for developers to use Yahoo!'s system for indexing information and images and create their own custom search engine.[8]

In January 2010, Microsoft announced a deal in which it would take over the functional operation of Yahoo! Search, and set up a joint venture to sell advertising on both Yahoo! Search and Bing known as the Microsoft Search Alliance. A complete transition of all Yahoo! sponsored ad clients to Microsoft adCenter (now Bing Ads) occurred in October 2010.[6]

Ysearch 2011
Yahoo! Search page in 2011

On March 12, 2014, Yahoo announced a partnership with Yelp to integrate its reviews and user-contributed photos into Yahoo! Search (as Bing had previously done).[9]

In November 2014, Mozilla signed a five-year partnership with Yahoo, making Yahoo Search the default search engine for Firefox browsers in the US.[10]

In April 2015, the Microsoft partnership was modified, now only requiring Bing results on the "majority" of desktop traffic, opening the ability for Yahoo to enter into non-exclusive deals for search services on mobile platforms and the remainder of desktop traffic. The amendment also gives either company the ability to terminate the contract with four months' notice. In October 2015, Yahoo subsequently reached an agreement with Google to provide services to Yahoo Search through the end of 2018, including advertising, search, and image search services.[11][12][13]

Yahoo Search blog and announcements

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.[14] This included index updates named Weather Updates and their Yahoo Search Assist feature.

International presence

Yahoo Search also provided their search interface in at least 38 international markets and a variety of available languages.[15] Yahoo! has a presence in Europe, Asia and across the Emerging Markets.


Search results

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.[16] For a Basic and starter guide to Yahoo Search, they also provided a Search Basics tutorial.[17] In 2005, Yahoo began to provide links to previous versions of pages archived on the Wayback Machine.[18] In the first week of May 2008, Yahoo launched a new search mash up called Yahoo Glue, which is in beta testing.[19]

Selection-based search

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.[20]


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.[21]

Search verticals

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


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet.
  2. ^ Roger Chapman. "Top 40 Website Programming Languages". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
  3. ^ EL. "Yahoo search". Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  4. ^ Lella, Adam (March 17, 2015). "comScore Releases February 2015 U.S. Desktop Search Engine Rankings". Retrieved March 18, 2015.
  5. ^ "Search engine market share in the United States 2018 - Statistic". Statista.
  6. ^ a b "Microsoft and Yahoo seal web deal". BBC News. July 29, 2009. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  7. ^ "Yahoo! Inc. - Company Timeline". Wayback Machine. July 13, 2008. Archived from the original on July 13, 2008. Retrieved July 19, 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  8. ^ "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 July 25, 2008.
  9. ^ "Yahoo Partners With Yelp To Bring Local Data To Its Search Tools". TechCrunch. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  10. ^ "New Search Strategy for Firefox: Promoting Choice & Innovation". The Mozilla Blog.
  11. ^ "Yahoo enters deal to display Google search results". The Verge. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  12. ^ "Microsoft loses exclusivity in shaken up Yahoo search deal". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  13. ^ "Ad Tech And Mobile In Focus In Microsoft And Yahoo's Renewed Search Deal". TechCrunch. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
  14. ^ "Yahoo Search Blog". Archived from the original on December 6, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  15. ^ "Yahoo international presence". Retrieved November 10, 2012.
  16. ^ "Yahoo Advanced Web Search".
  17. ^ Search Basics tutorial Archived October 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ Yahoo Cache Now Offers Direct Links to Wayback Machine Search Engine Watch, September 18, 2005
  19. ^ Hopkins, Mark (November 13, 2008). "Yahoo! Glue Launches in America". Retrieved February 21, 2015.
  20. ^ "Yahoo shortcuts".
  21. ^ "Yahoo SearchScan information page". Archived from the original on October 19, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.

External links

Bing (search engine)

Bing is a web search engine owned and operated by Microsoft. The service has its origins in Microsoft's previous search engines: MSN Search, Windows Live Search and later Live Search. Bing provides a variety of search services, including web, video, image and map search products. It is developed using ASP.NET.

Bing, Microsoft's replacement for Live Search, was unveiled by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer on May 28, 2009, at the All Things Digital conference in San Diego, California, for release on June 1, 2009. Notable new features at the time included the listing of search suggestions while queries are entered and a list of related searches (called "Explore pane") based on semantic technology from Powerset, which Microsoft had acquired in 2008.In July 2009, Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a deal in which Bing would power Yahoo! Search. All Yahoo! Search global customers and partners made the transition by early 2012. The deal was altered in 2015, meaning Yahoo! was only required to use Bing for a "majority" of searches.In October 2011, Microsoft stated that they were working on new back-end search infrastructure with the goal of delivering faster and slightly more relevant search results for users. Known as "Tiger", the new index-serving technology had been incorporated into Bing globally since August that year. In May 2012, Microsoft announced another redesign of its search engine that includes "Sidebar", a social feature that searches users' social networks for information relevant to the search query.As of October 2018, Bing is the third largest search engine globally, with a query volume of 4.58%, behind Google (77%) and Baidu (14.45%). Yahoo! Search, which Bing largely powers, has 2.63%.

Comparison of web search engines

Search engines are listed in tables below for comparison purposes. The first table lists the company behind the engine, volume and ad support and identifies the nature of the software being used as free software or proprietary. The second table lists privacy aspects along with other technical parameters, such as whether the engine provides personalization (alternatively viewed as a filter bubble).

Defunct or acquired search engines are not listed here.

Directline holidays

Directline-Holidays was a trading name of Holidayline (UK) Ltd until the brand and website was sold to Broadway Travel in September 2013. It specialises in selling cheap package holidays, flights and hotels.

An independent and privately owned UK travel agent, it has been an early adopter and advocate of new media.

Launched in 1993, directline holidays was among a handful of holiday companies advertising on television text services. In 2000 its first website was launched, advertising with bid-for-position search engine pioneers espotting (now miva) and goto (now Yahoo! Search Marketing).

In 2001 the entirety of the company's marketing budget was spent with online bid-for-position companies, including the newly created Google Adwords.

By 2003 the company changed its website address to and was already advertising with every major PPC (pay per click) network including adwords and Overture (now Yahoo! Search Marketing). continued its early adoption of new media through 2006, trialing pay-per-call advertising with Google adwords and beta testing Microsoft adCenter in the UK.

Although, well known in the UK online community for many years, geographic targeting has left the company virtually unknown outside of the UK.

Inquisitor (search software)

Inquisitor is a Cocoa plug-in for Mac OS X developed by David Watanabe.

List of mergers and acquisitions by Yahoo!

Yahoo! is a computer software and web search engine company founded on March 1, 1995. The company is a public corporation and its headquarters is located in Sunnyvale, California. It was founded by Stanford University graduate students Jerry Yang and David Filo in 1994. According to web traffic analysis companies, Yahoo has been one of the most visited websites on the Internet, with more than 130 million unique users per month in the United States alone. As of October 2007, the global network of Yahoo receives 3.4 billion page views per day on average, making it one of the most visited US websites.Yahoo's first acquisition was the purchase of Net Controls, a web search engine company, in September 1997 for US$1.4 million. As of April 2008, the company's largest acquisition is the purchase of, an Internet radio company, for $5.7 billion, making co-founder Mark Cuban a billionaire. Most of the companies acquired by Yahoo are based in the United States; 78 of the companies are from the United States, and 15 are based in a foreign country. As of July 2015, Yahoo has acquired 114 companies, with Polyvore being the latest.

Media RSS

Media RSS (MRSS) is an RSS extension that adds several enhancements to RSS enclosures, and is used for syndicating multimedia files (audio, video, image) in RSS feeds. It was originally designed by Yahoo! and the Media RSS community in 2004, but in 2009 its development has been moved to the RSS Advisory Board. One example of enhancements is specification of thumbnails for each media enclosure, and the possibility to enclose multiple versions of the same content (e.g. different file formats).

The format can be used for podcasting, which uses the RSS format as a means of delivering content to media-playing devices, as well as Smart TVs. Media RSS allows for a much more detailed description of the content to be delivered to the subscriber than the RSS standard. The standard is also used by content publishers to feed media files into Yahoo! Video Search, which is a feature of Yahoo! Search that allows users to search for video files.

Meta element

Meta elements are tags used in HTML and XHTML documents to provide structured metadata about a Web page.

They are part of a web page's head section. Multiple Meta elements with different attributes can be used on the same page. Meta elements can be used to specify page description, keywords and any other metadata not provided through the other head elements and attributes.

The meta element has two uses: either to emulate the use of an HTTP response header field, or to embed additional metadata within the HTML document.

With HTML up to and including HTML 4.01 and XHTML, there were four valid attributes: content, http-equiv, name and scheme. Under HTML 5 there are now five valid attributes, charset having been added. http-equiv is used to emulate an HTTP header, and name to embed metadata. The value of the statement, in either case, is contained in the content attribute, which is the only required attribute unless charset is given. charset is used to indicate the character set of the document, and is available in HTML5.

Such elements must be placed as tags in the head section of an HTML or XHTML document.

The two distinct parts of the elements are:

Title tags

Meta description

Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising (formerly Bing Ads, Microsoft adCenter and MSN adCenter) is a service that provides pay per click advertising on both the Bing and Yahoo! search engines. As of June 2015, Bing Ads has 33% market share in the United States.


The noindex value of an HTML robots meta tag requests that automated Internet bots avoid indexing a web page. Reasons why one might want to use this meta tag include advising robots not to index a very large database, web pages that are very transitory, web pages that are under development, web pages that one wishes to keep slightly more private, or the printer and mobile-friendly versions of pages. Since the burden of honoring a website's noindex tag lies with the author of the search robot, sometimes these tags are ignored. Also the interpretation of the noindex tag is sometimes slightly different from one search engine company to the next.


Pay-per-click (PPC), also known as cost per click (CPC), is an internet advertising model used to drive traffic to websites, in which an advertiser pays a publisher (typically a search engine, website owner, or a network of websites) when the ad is clicked.

Pay-per-click is commonly associated with first-tier search engines (such as Google Ads and Bing Ads). With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. In contrast, content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. PPC "display" advertisements, also known as "banner" ads, are shown on web sites with related content that have agreed to show ads and are typically not pay-per-click advertising. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have also adopted pay-per-click as one of their advertising models.

However, websites can offer PPC ads. Websites that utilize PPC ads will display an advertisement when a keyword query matches an advertiser's keyword list that has been added in different ad groups, or when a content site displays relevant content. Such advertisements are called sponsored links or sponsored ads, and appear adjacent to, above, or beneath organic results on search engine results pages, or anywhere a web developer chooses on a content site.The PPC advertising model is open to abuse through click fraud, although Google and others have implemented automated systems to guard against abusive clicks by competitors or corrupt web developers.

Robots exclusion standard

The robots exclusion standard, also known as the robots exclusion protocol or simply robots.txt, is a standard used by websites to communicate with web crawlers and other web robots. The standard specifies how to inform the web robot about which areas of the website should not be processed or scanned. Robots are often used by search engines to categorize websites. Not all robots cooperate with the standard; email harvesters, spambots, malware and robots that scan for security vulnerabilities may even start with the portions of the website where they have been told to stay out. The standard can be used in conjunction with Sitemaps, a robot inclusion standard for websites.


SearchFox is a web search engine company based in the United States. It was acquired by Yahoo! on January 17, 2006 and merged into the Yahoo! Search service.


Yahoo! is an American web services provider headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and owned by Verizon Media. The original Yahoo! company was founded by Jerry Yang and David Filo in January 1994 and was incorporated on March 2, 1995. Yahoo was one of the pioneers of the early Internet era in the 1990s.It provides or provided a Web portal, search engine Yahoo! Search, and related services, including Yahoo! Directory, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Groups, Yahoo! Answers, advertising, online mapping, video sharing, fantasy sports, and its social media website. At its height it was one of the most popular sites in the United States. According to third-party web analytics providers Alexa and SimilarWeb, Yahoo! was the most widely read news and media website – with over 7 billion views per month – ranking as the sixth-most-visited website globally in 2016.Once one of the largest internet companies, Yahoo! slowly declined starting in the late 2000s, and in 2017 Verizon Communications acquired most of Yahoo's Internet business for $4.48 billion, excluding its stakes in Alibaba Group and Yahoo! Japan, which were transferred to Yahoo's successor company Altaba. Despite its decline from prominence, Yahoo! domain websites are still one of the most popular, ranking 8th in the world according to the Alexa rankings as of January 2019.

Yahoo! Directory

The Yahoo! Directory was a web directory which at one time rivaled DMOZ in size. The directory was Yahoo!'s first offering and started in 1994 under the name Jerry and David's Guide to the World Wide Web. When Yahoo! changed to crawler-based listings for its main results in October 2002, the human-edited directory's significance dropped, but it was still being updated as of April 16, 2014. Users could browse thousands of listings which were organized in 7 or more tiers. For example, if a user was looking for a site on chess they might follow a path such as: recreation -> games -> board games -> chess.

The directory originally offered two options for suggesting websites for possible listing: "Standard", which was free, and a paid submission process which offered expedited review. "Standard" was dropped, and a non-refundable review fee of $299 ($600 for adult sites) was required when suggesting any website. If listed, the same amount was charged annually.

On September 26, 2014, Yahoo! announced that it would be closing the directory on December 31, 2014. This followed the closing of a number of country-specific directories in 2010.

Yahoo! Maps

Yahoo! Maps was a free online mapping portal provided by Yahoo! Functionality included local weather powered by The Weather Channel, printing maps, and local reviews powered by Yelp. It shut down in 2015.

Yahoo! Maps can still be accessed on, albeit powered by Here WeGo.

Yahoo! Movies

Yahoo! Movies (formerly Upcoming Movies), provided by the Yahoo! network, is home to a large collection of information on movies, past and new releases, trailers and clips, box office information, and showtimes and movie theater information. Yahoo! Movies also includes red carpet photos, actor galleries, and production stills. Users can read critic's reviews, write and read other user reviews, get personalized movie recommendations, purchase movie tickets online, and create and view other user's lists of their favorite movies.

Yahoo! SearchMonkey

Yahoo! SearchMonkey (often misspelled Search Monkey) was a Yahoo! service which allowed developers and site owners to use structured data to make Yahoo! Search results more useful and visually appealing, and drive more relevant traffic to their sites. The service was shut down in October 2010 along with other Yahoo! services as part of the Microsoft and Yahoo! search deal. The name SearchMonkey is an homage to Greasemonkey. Officially the product name has no space and two capital letters.

Yahoo! SearchMonkey was selected as one of the top 10 Semantic Web Products of 2008.

Yahoo! Search BOSS

Yahoo Search BOSS (Build your Own Search Service) was a Yahoo! Developer Network initiative to provide an open search web services platform.Yahoo discontinued BOSS JSON Search API, BOSS Placefinder API, BOSS Placespotter API and as well BOSS Hosted Search, on March 31, 2016. Yahoo BOSS is succeeded by Yahoo Partner Ads (YPA).

Yahoo! Search Marketing

Yahoo Search Marketing is a keyword-based "Pay per click" or "Sponsored search" Internet advertising service provided by Yahoo.

Yahoo began offering this service after acquiring Overture Services, Inc. (formerly was an Idealab spin off and was the first company to successfully provide a pay-for-placement search service following previous attempts that were not well received.

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