Today’s New York Times included an article about Yahoo!‘s
pitch to gain ground on the popular search engine Google.
I got snagged on the premise suggested by the article’s title: "The Search Engine That Isn’t a Verb, Yet."
Another way: Yahoo! will scale to new grandeur when its name gets used as a
verb–a term to singularly describe the vast actions of web searching. How
would that sound?
Last week, Yahoo finally replaced Google’s search results with its
home-brewed search engine, which uses a robot, called Slurp, to read Web
pages. Experts say Yahoo’s new search engine is credible and roughly
comparable to Google’s. And more important, Yahoo appears committed to the
sort of engineering work that is needed to improve the quality of Web
So the tech’s in place. Slurp? Yes, Slurp will suck up what’s
left in the bottom of the search cauldron, yield its dregish results just
fine. But until Yahoo! gets an "I’m feeling lucky!" button,
well, there’s not much to compare. Plus, with a name like Yahoo!, I can’t
imagine using it as a verb any time soon. Maybe it’s the voiceless
consonants. As long as Google’s pair of hard |g|s are soliciting search
queries, that’s where my action will remain. Yahoo! chief exec Terry Semel
regards his company’s latest venture as a bona fide contender in the all-or-nothing clash of the search engines, a kind of Algorithm Smack Down. From
the article: "Mr. Semel, characteristically, declined to talk about Google
or any other competitors, just as he would not discuss battles of media titans.
But that doesn’t mean he is not competitive. ‘I am not one who likes to be
fashionable at the moment,’ he said. ‘I want to win the race.’" I’m
not sure if I’ll know, so will somebody tell me when the race is finished?