Yahoo Keeps It In The (Flickr) Family

    September 20, 2007

A little bit of nepotism is to be expected.  A lot of it can be annoying, and, in the case of Yahoo’s image search results and Flickr, rather less than helpful.

Take a search for “Fibonacci number.”  Yahoo’s entire first page of results is from Flickr; one photo is titled “on being a pinecone,” while another shows the number eight against a brick wall.  Google’s results for the same query come from places like CRAM Science and ThinkQuest, and are much more relevant.

Google Operating System’s Ionut Alex Chitu uncovered a number of other issues, writing, “For example, the first page of search results for [Google Reader] only includes Flickr photos . . . .  Other queries also show a very-difficult-to-justify Flickr domination.  While Flickr is a great place to find photos, it’s not very relevant if you want to find Vista screenshots: 9 from the first 20 results are from Flickr and all of them show Vista wallpapers.”

This problem isn’t omnipresent – results for “dog,” “cat,” “alligator,” and a number of other things come out looking normal.  Still, the baseless Flickr favoritism is a tad troubling, and not at all subtle.

In other Flickr-related news, the photo site appears to be celebrating Talk Like a Pirate Day.  For better or for worse, the first page of a Yahoo image search for “Talk Like a Pirate Day” does not include anything from Flickr.