Google vs. Yahoo at sports

(Okay, I did a serious SEO post about PubCon. I’ll do a fun one about the bowling at the MSN party. As it happens, I didn’t hit the Yahoo party, the MSN party, or even Greg Boser’s birthday party this time around. But I heard from several people that they were a lot of fun.)

Google’s mission statement is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. I’ve heard that Yahoo’s unofficial motto is to work hard and play hard. Given those two mottos, which company do you think is going to be better at sports? Oh hell yes, I believe it will be Yahoo. If you want world chess or puzzle champions, we are your company. If you want intramural sports, I’d bet on Yahoo.

Sure, it’s a sweeping generalization, but let’s look at some sports. Recently Yahoo! and Google played tennis against each other. Who took that one? Yahoo did. And a couple months ago, these flyers turned up at the Googleplex as Yahoo and Google squared off in softball:

Google Softball flyer

I don’t know who won that match-up, but I’d be willing to bet a shiny quarter that Yahoo did. On the other hand, Google can acquit itself pretty well at some activities. At SES San Jose, Vanessa Fox suited up in a sumo wrestling suit and took down her Yahoo! opponent, 3-1.

Given, all this, I was interested to hear bowling results from the MSN party at PubCon (MSN rented out a suite with a bowling alley at the Palms). It turns out that Danny snapped pictures of the final scores. A few of the players and their scores:

Melanie Mitchell (AOL) – 133
Eytan Seidman (Microsoft Live) – 116
Danny Sullivan (Search Engine Land) – 112
Tim Mayer (Yahoo!) – 99

I skipped the MSN party, but I’ll chip in my last bowling score:

My bestest ever bowling score

It’s nice to know that I could have gone to the MSN party without fear of bowling shame. I know, I know, you’re wondering why I have a copy of a bowling game from last year. Two reasons: first, it’s the highest score I’ve ever hit by margin of 50 points or so. I doubt I’d ever do that well again. Second, it was about an hour before I took my punishment for losing a bet. If you have to bet on a company for something sports-related though, I’d still put my money on Yahoo! over Google. :)

38 Responses to Google vs. Yahoo at sports (Leave a comment)

  1. Yeah, Danny was kind enough to omit a description of my fantastic bowling ability (or lack thereof). It’s a good thing I’m so good at sumo.

  2. Hey, you’d already taken the sumo title, so you were out of the running for bowling anyway. :)

    And Vanessa and I continue our tradition of chatting on holidays. :)

  3. 185 is pretty good for the average Joe. Hang on! You are not Joe and that’s not your average!….LOL

  4. 5-pin, Matt. It’s all about the 5-pin.

    And not just ordinary 5-pin either. You need ghetto 5-pin. That’s 5-pin bowling at one of those crusty old alleys from the 1970s with the fake woodgrain panelling and a crazy old guy who looks like Santa Claus running the place and one of those old CD jukeboxes that hasn’t been reloaded since about 1995 and hand scoring.

    It also helps if the place has a built-in bar and you get one of the alleys right in front of it.

    That, my friend, is bowling.

    (Seriously, if you ever make it to Toronto, I promise to take you to an alley that has all that if the place is still in business. You won’t even need to be armed!)

    10′s cool too, but it tends to be more of a brute force game whereas 5 is more of a skill game.

  5. Nice – I like that there’s some friendly off-web rivalry between the companies. Makes the entire SEO war seem a little more human.

    Is it common to fraternize with Yahoo! ? Or is there an unwritten rule against hanging out with Yahooligans?

  6. Actually Google won the softball game. I don’t recall the exact score, but it was a decent win.

  7. Sports are all about the desire to win. Some folks think sports are silly games. To others, vacations are scheduled to accommodate The Steelers training camp. Not saying I do this, although, if I’m gaming, I’m playing The Steelers. Not a silly video game to me, its serious!

    Anyways, there are many parallels between business and sports. So many, in fact, books written by former athletes are assigned to executives at business firms as mandatory reading materials.

    I’m curious as to why Googlers (almost) always loose to the Yahooligans?

  8. I am back from eating turkey and my stomach hurts. ;-(

    Was MSN’s party also private? I know for sure Yahoo has made many people who went to pubcon feel like outsiders.

  9. A-ha, but the real challenge would be for all those segregated corporate groups to cometogether and randomly integrate , mixing up each team with players from EACH company.

    Try it,…who says that company teams must ONLY play isolated….. :-|

    Oh, Search Engines WEB

  10. What would that accomplish, exactly? If the two sides comingled, then the conspiracy theorists would be popping out of the woodworking claiming Yahoogle would gain a monopoly among search engines and that it would be painfully unfair and that we’d need an open source search engine to counteract them and…

    Yeah, that’s just a disaster situation waiting to happen.

  11. What would be the best way to acquire vanessa fox for marriage?

  12. A 185 average would be good. Can you attain that Matt?

  13. kandi

    Hi Matt, you are popular. I recive some spam today …

    “In this document, Google engineer Matt Cutts explains how Google decides
    what result goes at the top of the list. What can you do to get out of
    it? Others think that links to a brand-new site might be a spam
    indicator. There are two factors that influence the rankings of your web
    pages.
    If you advertise your website on pay per click search engines such as
    Overture or Google AdWords, chances are that you pay way too much for
    your clicks. ” below …. ”
    *** CNHC *** CNHC *** CNHC ***

    Trade Date: Friday, November 24, 2006
    Company: China Health Management Corp.
    Symbol: CNHC
    Price: $1.34
    Target: $10 ”

    ;p Funny ;p

  14. Re sumo suits

    I think an Its a knockout Msoft Vs Google would be fun.

    I just had vision of Steve Ballmer dressed up in a giant inflatable penguin suit attempting to catch giant plush baby seals whilst under fire from a weather canon manned by the opposing team.

    for those non European’s

    Its a knockout was a Game show that was very popular across europe featuring teams, each representing a town or city, competing to complete bizarre tasks in absurd games, generally while dressed in outlandish costumes (often large latex suits).

    The German teams always tended to win as they took it seriously

  15. OOH bum I hate spell checkers

    Water Canon not Weather Canon

  16. Congratulations on your 185 game. I’m glad that you spend more of your time on quality search results than bowling. If your in Atlanta and would like to bowl, I’ll be happy to take you. BTW my high game is 299, studid 8 pin.

  17. All I know is, Joe from Spokane kicked all of our butts. I’ll bet Yahoo is on the phone recruiting him right now.

  18. Man, 185! Matt, I’m finding a lane near Mountain View on my next trip out…

  19. Bring it on Matt!!! (kidding) I’m psyched if I break 100 :)!!

  20. Man 185 is pretty good – i miss bowling……

    Looks like youve been having some fun… dont rush back to work if you dont mind mate ;)

  21. Danny, it was utter luck, but next time you’re in town, we’ll bowl instead of just talking search stuff. I know a good place with some character. :) Now driving at Thruxton–that sounds fun! :)

  22. Google won the softball game; mostly because I had to miss the game due to a prior commitment. I’m fairly convinced we’d win at just about every other sport as well too.

  23. Matt if you are correct there appears to be a strong and inverse correlation between search stock price and search sporting.

    Aaron – given the horrible comments the Pubcon crowd always has for Microsoft I don’t blame MS for a closed party, but Yahoo clearly lost a golden opportunity at Pubcon to recruit new advertisers and publishers. Google’s inclusive party event helped show why they remain on top.

  24. Harith

    Matt

    Did you know what Danny “Innocent” Sullivan was doing while you were busy answering questions at PubCon ? :)

    Btw, you haven’t told us that you have an Amanda in Google WebSpam Team. How come? :)

  25. Allan

    Just remember some people do actually do some work!

  26. I loved bowling. I was quite good at it too! I remember the USA Junior team coming over to Australia in 1981-2 and playing against us. I whipped their butts!…LOL

  27. I am much more interested that three of the top four player in Search have agreed to use just one standard for xml sitemaps.

    http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2006/11/joint-support-for-sitemap-protocol.html

    This is so so good for us poor SEOs. (also a little scarey: please read Farewell Horizontal by KWJeter)

  28. We don’t bowl that much in Portugal. We prefer the outdoors :)

    Matt, could I possibly bother you again with a tek question? Sorry, you seem to be the go-to guy…

    If a site has dynamic pages, will these pages never get PageRank, or is it a question of good link strategy and unique content, as with any other page/site? I’ve seen many “dynamic sites” with PR0 pages, or with some PR that doesn’t show up in the toolbar.

    How do I get dynamic pages to obtain some PR, even if only that PR that comes from the homepage?

    Thanks a lot again for your patience.

  29. nice use of MS’s clipart selection for the softball flyer… ;)

  30. Congratulations on your 185 game. I haven’t done bowling for some years now. I kinda miss it.

  31. That’s good for companies to compete in real life like that. At least you guy are going mano y mano when it comes to it. Most people that work at a company claim that they can beat their rival company at a physical event. It’s good to see you guys go at it. And it’s good to know that you are the bigger man when it comes to sports by putting your money on yahoo.

  32. Maybe Yahoo is getting better at real human like searches too then?

    Just seeing some really strange search results from your team right now Matt. I love to shop online for the holidays and to me Yahoo is winning???
    I sure would rather deal with Google!

  33. JLH

    Come on Sara, don’t you want to see expired Ebay auctions for 7 out of 10 of the first page of results? They’re all subdomains so technically they are different sites :)

  34. Well I certainly don’t want to see 2004 and 2005 old news results when I’m searching for products (not news) to buy for my family this Christmas. Never thought that I would say, “YAHOO”

    And I hate to hear a soar loser put down the winner???

    I’m still with you Google, will you come through before Christmas?

    Please don’t make me shop at the mall this year.

  35. ed

    google far superior for sport than yahoo.

  36. Who even uses Yahoo that much?

    I like Google’s homepage simply for the fact that there are just about four links on it.

    At yahoo- it’s indecision galore!

  37. This is too funny!

    GO GOOGLE

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