Yahoo gets back on disputed search numbers

Yahoo clears up questions about its search survey
Stephen Baker

A few days ago I complained about a Yahoo study that appeared to show that Internet search was a more valuable information tool than friends and family. Yahoo got back to me and explained the study in detail. The point, it's now clear, is that search is often more widely used, but does not match the trust that people put into friends and family.

But the study features lots of interesting data. Did you know that three-quarters of the searches for diapers come from men? Why would that be? Perhaps because men would be more likely to be clueless about diapers, and would need tips on how to operate them? These details are important. They indicate that keyword marketers who bid on the word "diaper" should target their pitches to young men.

The entire Yahoo study focuses on how people use search as they prepare for the big events of their life: marriage, going to college, having a baby, etc. The upshot is that these people use search like mad, and the search leads to loads of purchases. It's a big market opportunity for Yahoo or any other search engine that grabs these market segments.

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