Yesterday, I thought I discovered Yahoo stealing searching from Google, but I did not, Rand discovered it. Basically, if you do a search on Yahoo for google, Yahoo puts up a Yahoo Shortcut asking you "Want to search the Web?" with Yahoo? Is this fair? Is this respectable? Who cares... But is this relevant?
Navigational searches are important. Does Google throw up a OneBox result doing the same? No, they do not. Yahoo doesn't do it for MSN or Ask.com, only for Google. When I asked GoodROI to ask Tim Converse of Yahoo on his WebmasterRadio show last night, Tim replied that he was unaware of that result but it is possible that it may be a joke. Meaning, sometimes the search engines play jokes with each other.
When I went over to Ask.com to do a search on Google, I got this Smart Answer that is incredibly useful and relevant (IMO) to this search.
When I went over to MSN yesterday I did not get anything special. But today, it seems MSN is playing the joke on Google & Yahoo but not on Ask. They ask "Want to search the Web? Try MSN Search" with the search box to MSN.
So now we have Yahoo and MSN both playing this game. Google doesn't do anything much special for these navigation searches. And Ask.com shows a detailed Smart Answer with details of each search company.
Why does Yahoo and MSN do this? Well, as I said it is most likely because Yahoo and MSN are portals. They attract less web savvy individuals and when they search at Yahoo or MSN, they may not understand that they are actually searching. Sounds kind stupid, but this is the case.
Matt Cutts of Google commented in the SEOMoz post saying;
Yahoo: "Want to search the Web?"
User: "Yes, but not with you."
Too funny. I wish I had a T-shirt with that on it. :)
So Chris Boggs decided to play artist and make a Did you mean? result in Google for good search engine, it does not really work, but he wanted to have fun.
I doubt this is just a joke between search engines. For a high volume keyword, trust me, it is high volume, like "Google," search engines typically play jokes with each other.