On impulse, I just twiddled the ongoing software on my staging server so that when you do a search in the little box up at the top, it goes to Yahoo not Google. I ran a bunch of searches, and in terms of result quality, there was nothing to choose from between them. Yahoo seemed a little fresher; on this Sunday it had Friday’s entries pretty well indexed, while Google was only half there; they’re both OK for Thursday. So, at this moment in time, my search box, and a zillion others like it, are pointing to Google just because that’s the way we set it up, and it’s actual real work to go changing production systems, and the competition so far isn’t significantly better. I have no idea what the proportion of search coming through this kind of thing is, as compared to the volume going through the search-engine home pages. I bet that if you count the toolbars on the browsers, it’s getting up there. Via Google’s AdSense For Search, you can already get paid for sending searches to Google. I won’t use it, though, because if I read the terms and conditions correctly, you have to include a Google logo. Screw that; I like my minimalist little search box, and nobody but me and my employer get any branding here. I’m sure Yahoo has a competitive offering, but I haven’t tracked it down. I’ll tell you one thing for sure though; if the search engines retain their quality-of-service parity, pretty soon the traffic will be dealt out totally based on who’s willing to pay the most for it. Where can I buy shares in Firefox?