The Google / Yahoo Alphabet - 2008

Brady Forrest recently reviewed the Google alphabet for 2008. I did something similar in 2005 based on a previous BoingBoing posting.
These Google results seem so biased. The cynical side of me thinks there some money changing hands or some fudge factors in place to get these slanted results.

So I thought I'd try it for myself. Note that with my Firefox 3.0.1 browser, Google Suggest is that little search box near the top right corner. Here's the Google results again for comparison:

A = amazon
B = bebo
C = craigslist
D = dictionary
E = ebay
F = facebook
G = gmail
H = hotmail
I = ikea
J = john lewis
K = kelly blue book
L = limewire
M = myspace
N = nbc olympics
O = olympics
P = photobucket
Q = quotes
R = runescape
S = sears
T = target
U = utube
V = verizon wireless
W = wikipedia
X = xbox
Y = youtube
Z = zip codes

I then changed it to do the search (and suggest) on Yahoo. There were a lot of similar results, but here's the ones that are different:

A = aol
B = bank of america
G = google
I = irs
J = jessica alba
K = kentucky derby
L = lowes
N = nick
O = orkut
P = people
Q = qvc
S = southwest airlines
U = ups
V = vanity fair
W = walmart
Z = zappos

I admit I had to look up what zappos was. I'd heard of the rest. Again, the cynical part of me thinks there's some sponsorship going on there too (bank of america, lowes). As Brady suggests, P is more likely for Paris Hilton no matter how much you might detest it.

I then went to another Yahoo Search site and tried the test again. As you type things in, it drops down an area of suggestions. And the results were different. Compared with the previous Google results, the differences were:

B = bbc
G = google
J = jessica simpson
K = kara dioguardi
L = lyrics
N = national lottery
O = orbitz
P = people search
Q = qvc
R = recipes
U = ups
W = weather

Interesting. Yahoo can't even make consistent suggestions.

I guess if you own the search technology, you can doctor it whatever way you want.

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