Yahoo search gains on Google

Google may be getting most of the attention among search engines, especially with its upcoming initial public offering, but new Forrester Research data on search habits shows Yahoo is still getting a big piece of the action.

Use of Yahoo as a search engine ties that of the mighty Google in the most recent Consumer Technographics survey, sponsored by Forrester, of more than 60,000 North American households. Each of those search engines shows up with 40 percent of Web surfers who use a portal or search site at least once a week. And Forrester believes use of Yahoo search will surge ahead of Google in the first quarter of 2005, says George Colony, Forrester chair and CEO.

Colony says a great search site has three components: personalization, presentation, and quality of service.

"Of all the search engines out there, Yahoo is the only player that gets all three," Colony says. "Google impresses primarily in its quality of service," he adds.

Colony also points out that few, if any, barriers to entry exist in the search engine universe. "It's very easy to make a quick switch to another (search engine)," he said.

Certainly competition remains fierce, as the search sites look for other ways to lure surfers and make money.

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Anne B. McDonald

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