Yahoo Favors Its Own Download Site, Then Offers Yahoo Toolbar Download, Too

yahoo logoWhile the US government accuses Google of, in part, favoring its own properties in search results, Yahoo appears to be doing the same thing on download-related searches. And, in the process of offering downloads of popular software, Yahoo is also offering searchers additional downloads including the Yahoo Toolbar.

This was first spotted by GFI Labs, which showed how certain download-related searches always presented Yahoo’s download site, downloads.yahoo.com, at the top of the results page, ahead of the official website.

yahoo-downloads-1

That alone isn’t unusual. Google and Bing both often show their own properties at the top of search results. Yahoo does, too — remember our Yahoo Search Direct Alphabet article from earlier this year, which showed how 21 of the 26 letters of the alphabet led to a Yahoo property in Yahoo’s new Search Direct tool.

In my testing, not all download-related searches led to Yahoo Downloads first; it didn’t show up at all, for example, on searches like “download adobe acrobat” and “download chrome.”

But, as GFI reports (using a search for a program called Teamviewer), when Yahoo does show its own portal first, there’s more going on after the download happens from there:

If the user runs the download from this page, they will be presented with an offer for the Yahoo toolbar and then either Shop to Win or Social Ribbons add-on. After the user accepts or declines these offers, the installer then downloads the actual Teamviewer installer from Tucows to the user’s desktop and and prompts the user to run it.

GFI has a screenshot of the extra download “offers” that Yahoo is including. Here’s the offer for the Yahoo toolbar:

yahoo-downloads-2

GFI says the other download offers are affiliate/charity related, but Yahoo offers few details about how much money is donated, nor where the money goes.

This appears to be a PC-only concern. I’ve just downloaded a Mac-based program from Yahoo Downloads and, after launching the downloaded file, was not presented with any extra offers from Yahoo.

And, needless to say, if searchers skip the Yahoo Downloads result and get the software from the official site, they also won’t get hit with extra download offers from Yahoo, either.

There’s more discussion on Techmeme.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Top News | Yahoo: Search | Yahoo: Toolbar

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • A.G.

    The difference, from an anti-trust viewpoint, is that Google has a dominant market share and, from that, substantial market power that it can use to invade new markets. Yahoo is no longer a dominant player, so it is allowed to do things that a dominant company is not permitted to do.

  • http://www.topdraw.com Adriel Michaud

    That is a nasty bit of un-usability they’ve chosen to implement to keep people from hitting “decline offer” AKA “don’t install that junkie toolbar”. And the fact that they’re pushing v4 over the newest (5.5) is also backwards. The user will just have to update as soon as they install.

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