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July 13, 2006

The Profile of a Search Engine User

Firefox 2 includes in its search box Google Suggest and Yahoo LiveSearch. So when you type the first letters of a word, you'll get suggestions from popular searches. It's interesting to compare the userbase of the two search engines by looking at users' queries.

Python is an animal, but also a programming language.

Google users seem to search for specific models of mobile phones, while Yahoo users want general information.

Google users know a simple trick: to find information about a film, type [imdb title-of-the-film]. Yahoo users search for general information.

While those who search for Firefox on Yahoo seem to be interested in finding more information or downloading the browser, Google users try to tweak the browser. As they already have it.

Everybody wants to download music and instant messengers, but Google users are more sophisticated and also like Java, download accelerators and Download Festival, a three day rock/metal/punk festival held annually in England.

Conclusions? Google users are more tech-savvy, more informed and search for specific details. Yahoo users are more interested in media, are more prone to security problems (they search for "free ipod"), and don't know how to find information quickly, so they are usually more distracted.

Also see:
10 powerful uses for Google Suggest
Google users are wealthier


  1. (Another perspective)
    Undoubtedly!! Google users are smart and the Yahoo ones stuck in the stone age :-)

    Thanks for the google system news, I really enjoy reading this stuff.

  2. heheh, how cool of us Google users.

  3. Nice research. This is an excellent post!

  4. I'd say deriving that google users are tech savvy and yahoo users not so from this comparison would be unjustified.

    Its only that, Google is used more of a tool than a search engine. Meaning, searching for a movie u put imdb. and for mobile phone you put the model number and look at images..atleast thats what I do.

    The Tech-savvy I think have already migrated to google. the people who use yahoo must be those who install yahoo's programs blindly without unchecking "make yahoo the default page".

    I thoroughly enjoyed this article. Thanks

  5. Interesting. I think this is flawed however as Google only suggests terms which begin with what you type; Yahoo! suggests terms which contain what you have typed. I also wouldn't be surprised if Yahoo! used some kind of relevance algorithm instead of simply ordering by number of results or whatever Google does.

  6. mt boa a comparação!

    nunca usei o buscador do yahoo, adoro o google e sempre acho o q preciso.

    google it!

  7. Interesting, yet Google is able to somehow get us, the smart users or informed searchers, to click on their ads.

  8. Whats the idea to say that Yahoo users are dumb?!?!!?!? I use Google but dont judge people that dont... After all its just a search engine. HMMMMM do you judge people that dont use the same type of toilet paper as you ?!!??!?!

  9. Firefox also added the live search along with Google and Yahoo.

  10.'s inline suggestions are so bad that they don't deserve any attention. If I type "test" 8/10 suggestions are "test" with some case variations.