is going up against rival Google once again. The company, which on Feb. 18 stopped using Google’s search technology in favor of its own search engine—including a new Web crawler, Yahoo! Slurp, to index Web pages—has since launched a new feature that competes directly with Google’s PageRank. Called Webrank, the feature—which replaces Yahoo!’s LinkFlux—is driven by data submitted from users who have the newest version of Yahoo! Companion Toolbar with the advanced features turned on.
“An interesting feature of this is that Yahoo! is using click data to help Yahoo! Slurp spider new popular content,” points out Stephan Spencer, founder/president of Madison, WI-based e-marketing agency Netconcepts. Whereas Google’s PageRank is a measure of link popularity, Spencer says, Webrank is primarily based on Web surfer traffic. He adds that Webrank operates similarly to Amazon.com’s Alexa, which offers a Web search and browser toolbar that learns from users and provides them with context-sensitive information about sites.