The Yahoo Search Direct Alphabet: Where Every Letter Starts With Yahoo

And you thought Google favored its own properties? Check this out:

In Yahoo’s new Search Direct feature, 21 of the 26 one-letter alphabet queries show a Yahoo property as the first “answer.” If you type the letter “A,” for example, Yahoo Answers is the featured result; type “B,” and Yahoo Bookmarks is the first answer, and so on through most of the alphabet.




That continues until you get to the letter “I,” where iTunes becomes the featured answer.


In fact, the five letters that don’t show a Yahoo property first are:

  • I – iTunes
  • J – Jennifer Lopez
  • Q – QVC
  • X – Xbox
  • Z – Zsa Zsa Gabor

In Yahoo’s defense, they do have a lot of content properties, and it makes sense that several would show up on searches like this — Yahoo Finance for “F” (or perhaps even Flickr). But, if Search Direct were to be based on search activity — what people are looking for the most — “F” should probably lead to Facebook, which has been the number one search term for any letter for a couple years running.

When Google Instant launched last year, curious searchers ran similar tests to see what single-letter searches led to in Google’s search results. Those early reports showed that Google pointed to only one of its own properties: Gmail for “G.”

(Thx to for the tip. Home page alphabet image via

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Magazine | Top News | Weekender | Yahoo Search Direct | Yahoo: Search


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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  • Gretus

    Hi Matt,

    thanks for mentioning us. Also try to search for `ab´, which normaly should be adobe (?) Yahoo uses it´s own sites as default (!) suggestions, only shows others when there´s no own service in the line of typed letters. Very funny…



  • employmentlawyerchick

    How incredibly lame. I’m guessing Yahoo is going to have to change this soon. They’re having a hard enough time getting people to use them for search over Google. Moves like this is only going to make it even harder for them. If it’s not useful, people aren’t going to use it!

  • Michael Martinez

    Like Carol Bartz has always said, Yahoo! is not a search engine. So why did anyone bother looking? This isn’t news.

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