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1st thing (we all know that) is that their results still suck. my page is most popular in the city and it is on 1st place in google. thats good, makes sense. but on MSN it comes on 5th place! Yahoo! shows it on 1st page - thats good too. but at the same time Yahoo! doesnt list 2nd most popular city page at all. MSN lists it as 1st.
Conclusion: google's results are still the best.
2nd thing - very important!
we - users - want to open the search easily, less typing, page should open as fast as it can. no ads or anything else. we dont want the page to load forever! and this is where MSN and Yahoo! fail.
MSN - who the hell would type search.msn.com in the browser? no one. who will go to MSN.com and wait all that crap to load just because i wanted to use their search? not me.
Yahoo! - same thing - do i want to see whole Yahoo! news and advertisements before i can use their search? no way!
Google wins again.
what do Yahoo! and MSN have to do?
there are so many smart people at Yahoo! and MSN but at the same time they dont do what they should. dear MS and Yahoo! listen to me: create a new name and run the search engine under that name. for example: searchx.com or booo.com or mega.com [i made up those names]. what you need is a domain that will represent search only and now whole bunch of your services. we dont want to see that. pick a short good name and do the marketing. you know how to do that!
no matter how good your results at Yahoo! heavy page or search.msn.com are i will never want to see all that info when just using search and i will never type search.msn.com into my browser. it takes me 5 seconds to type that and 14 key presses. too long!
i know you want to market your brand name but it just wont work. search is search. should be fast and simple and easy to remember.
so pick up a name! and use that name.com, remove all garbage and just leave a search box. follow google! its so simple.
I find Yahoo results by far the best, googles current results are the worst ive seen in years and they either have far to many sandbox filters applied now (in their quest to increase revenue from adwords) or the new search bot is not as effective at cashing pages into its index as the old one was. What ever the case Google are currently not very effective.
As for branding, whilst Google have a simple page for search they still push all the other junk that no one cares about the same way as Yahoo and MSN do.
One last thing to note, IE7, watch this space, no one will need to type anything in to get a search facility as it will be right at the top of your screen before long!. Oh,and one other thing, IF msn do buy Yahooo it will be back to a two horse race again as it was before
I use all three search engines, and as time passes I use MSN and Yahoo more and more. One of the big things for me is the freshness of MSN and Yahoo when compared to Google. Sometimes I find it much easier to find what I am looking for on MSN and Yahoo.
Believe it or not, I do type in search.xyz.com into my browser and for me that isn't a deterrent. I use firefox which has a pull down menu with a list of the search engines I use which is also very handy and gives me easy access to the search engines without the added fuss.
I do take your point about Yahoo and MSN launching their site on a separate domain and to me is seems to make sense…
As long as those cluttered pages make them more money than clean pages, they will keep them.
Anyone may think that a clean page (a la Google) would be more profitable, but it looks like they think different, and their opinion (Y and msn) is the only one which matters.