Yahoo and Google are two major players in the Internet and computer software industry with continued history of rivalry.
In January 1994, Jerry Yang and David Filo, two Stanford graduate students created a website named "Jerry's Guide to the World Wide Web." It was a directory of other websites, organized in a hierarchical manner. Later in April 1994, it was renamed as "Yahoo!". Filo and Yang said they selected the name because they liked the word's general definition, "rude, unsophisticated, and uncouth."
On 12 April 1996, Yahoo released its initial public offering, and raised $33.8 million dollars, by selling 2.6 million shares at $13 each. Initially it was only working as a search engine, but in the 1990’s when the web services started becoming popular; it started diversifying into various other businesses. On 8 March 1997, Yahoo acquired online communications company, Four11and their webmail service, Rocketmail, which later became Yahoo! Mail.
Then Yahoo acquired ClassicGames.com and launched Yahoo! Games. On 28 January 1999, Yahoo acquired web hosting provider GeoCities, through which any one can make their own website for free. Yahoo also acquired eGroups in 28 June 2000, which became Yahoo! Groups.
At the time of the dotcom bubble (2000-2001), Yahoo’s stocks closed at an all-time high of $118.75/ share on 3rd January, 2000. On 26 June 2000, Yahoo and Google signed an agreement which retained Google as the default world-wide-web search engine for Yahoo.com. But after the post dotcom bubble, this contract was called off and later Yahoo, started to use its own search engine technology. To capture the WEB 2.0 market space, Yahoo released their Yahoo Music service, then they acquired the service Flickr, and On 29 March 2005, the company launched its blogging and social networking service called Yahoo! 360°.
Google was co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin while they were doing their PhD at Stanford University; it was incorporated as a privately held company on September 7, 1998. Google made the initial public offering on August 19, 2004, and raised $1.67 billion, making it worth $23 billion. As a search engine Google had the largest market share but to capture other areas of internet services, Google started acquiring other companies like Orkut and You Tube.
The search engine from Google was originally named as "BackRub" because the system checked back links to estimate a site's importance and it was originally used in Stanford University’s website with the domain “google.stanford.edu”. The domain “google.com” was registered on September 15, 1997. Larry Page and Sergey Brin originally wanted to give it a name as “Googol.com”, which refers to 10100 (the number represented by a 1 followed by one-hundred zeros). But it was already registered for another domain name, so they later choose “google.com”.
Google started selling advertisements associated with the help of keywords. The ads were text-based to maintain the simplistic design of the page and to maximize page loading speed. Keywords were sold based on a combination of price bid and click throughs.
edit Expansion and new technology
Yahoo has various other services besides the original search engine and Email; Yahoo News, Yahoo Mobile, Yahoo Messenger; Yahoo Music, Yahoo Finance etc. It also next generation internet movement WEB 2.0 in the form of RSS feed. It also offers social networking services and user-generated content in products such as My Web, Yahoo! Personals, Yahoo! 360°, and Flickr.
Yahoo has also signed partnership deals with different broadband providers such as AT&T, Verizon Communications, Rogers Communications and British Telecom, offering a range of free and premium Yahoo content and services to subscribers. Also, through these networks it is giving the mobile users the Yahoo features and messenger service at their finger tips. Yahoo also introduced its Internet search system, oneSearch, developed for mobile phones on March 20, 2007. OneSearch is different from Web searches, as Yahoo's new service presents a list of actual information, which includes: news headlines, images from Yahoo's Flickr photos site, business listings, local weather and links to other sites. Also to use new technologies, they have introduced Yahoo! Next; this shows future Yahoo technologies currently in their beta testing phase. It also contains forums for Yahoo users to give feedback about these future Yahoo technologies.
Yahoo also localises its websites by region. For example, its web address in India is in.yahoo.com, whilst in the UK it is uk.yahoo.com. Through these localized Yahoo websites, the users from different countries can get to know about their local news, weather, entertainment etc. Yahoo's localised websites in countries where English is not the primary language are available in those countries' native languages instead. For example Yahoo Japan, www.yahoo.co.jp, is in Japanese, unlike Yahoo's Indian and British versions which are primarily in English.
Google is well-known for its web search service. As of August 2007, Google was the most used search engine on the web with a 53.6% market share, ahead of Yahoo! (19.9%) and Live Search (12.9%). Google indexes billions of Web pages, so that users can search for the information they desire, through the use of keywords and operators. Google has also employed the Web Search technology into other search services, including Image Search, Google News, the price comparison site Google Product Search, the interactive Usenet archive Google Groups, Google Maps. Google, besides from their popular search engine, released various other services, such as email service popularly known as Gmail which was the result of 6 years of extensive research, the social networking site popularly known as Orkut; video sharing service such as Google video and later it also acquired You Tube for the same. From this video sharing a new form of entertainment has emerged, MACHINIMA. Google also have their advertisement program in Gmail, where in if the user is getting a mail from a particular company, he/she can see the related articles or news in the right hand side of the mail window. Google also introduced Google Earth, for which they acquired a Satellite. Through Google Earth, any user can visit any place in earth virtually, and can locate his/her home, office etc. In October 2007, Google SMS service was launched in India allowing users to get business listings, movie times and information by sending an SMS.
In the future Google plans to release a Google phone to compete with Apple’s iPhone, which is known as project Android. But Google officials deny this often and term it a rumor. Google is also developing various other services, which are in Beta phase, such as Google Scholar; Google Spreadsheet program, through which users can download the word document and view it online. So it doesn’t require any other Office suite preinstalled in users system.
- Release of Gmail, with 1 GB of free storage, on 1 April 2004.
- Launch of the social networking site, Orkut[].Launch of video sharing site, you tube.
- For Google, one of the main achievements is its innovation and work culture. Google has been voted by the Fortune magazine as the No. 1
- company to work in. The corporate philosophy includes statements such as "Don't be evil" and "Work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun".
- In 2004, Google.org, a nonprofit philanthropic wing of Google, with a start-up fund of $1 billion was set up. The mission was to create awareness about climate change, global public health, and global poverty.
- Yahoo Mail Plus (this is a premium service) accounts with capacity of 2 GB. Later, in 2007, Yahoo took out the storage meters and made the storage limit unlimited. Yahoo has upgraded its mail service by providing various tools and add-ons, such as creating avatar, changing the color of mail window.
- Yahoo is regarded as the most visited websites on the internet by Web traffic analysis companies Comscore, Alexa Internet and Netcraft, with more than 130 million unique users. The global network of Yahoo! websites received 3.4 billion page views per day on average as of October 2007, making it one of the most visited U.S. websites.
Yahoo has received criticism for funding spy and advertisement technologies. In this case, advertising from Yahoo's clients appears on-screen in pop-ups and through these users may sometimes accidentally install ad ware or spyware on their computer. This feature has received stern criticism from the media, and internet users, due to media scrutiny relating to paedophiles utilising the internet as a means to collect child pornography, and a lack of significant ad revenues, and later it was closed down on June 2005.
On May 2006, Yahoo's image search received criticism from socially conservative sources regarding sexually explicit images being visible even when SafeSearch was on. Google has been criticized for many of its new services. For example, Google Book Search's effort to digitize millions of books and make the full text searchable has led to copyright disputes with the Authors Guild. Geographic details provided by Google Earth's satellite imaging have resulted in disputes with governments, who assert that terrorists can get the full details of landmarks and their surrounding areas. Google's persistent cookie and other information collection practices have led to concerns over user privacy. Also Google has problems with the Chinese government and their laws as filter search results have not been in accordance to their regional laws and regulations.
Yahoo's website in China, cn.yahoo.com, has, as of 8 November 2013, ceased operations.