Is there anything on Earth that could persuade you to use Yahoo?

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's president, has come up with a brilliant idea: power Yahoo's searches with the Google search engine.  That way people who use Google might be tempted to try Yahoo because...actually, I don't understand it, either.

After three years as Yahoo’s chief executive, Marissa Mayer is still searching for a viable turnaround plan for the company.

Three years is a long time.  She hasn't done very much except for trying to milk Yahoo's shares in Alibaba.

Yahoo reported disappointing third-quarter financial results on Tuesday and said it would soon begin to use Google to power some of its search results and advertising.

“We see a unique moment for Yahoo to narrow our strategy,” she said in the call to discuss the quarter’s results. She said she would provide more details within the next three months, but the plan is likely to include staff cuts and the shutdown or sale of some of the company’s operations.

Actually, Yahoo hasn't had its own search engine for years.  It's been using Microsoft's Bing to power its results.  I'll always remember the day when Yahoo's coffin was nailed, when then-CEO Carol Bartz said that not only was Yahoo no longer a search engine company, but it had never been one.

Ms. Bartz places Yahoo’s position in a rather different light. “We have never been a search company,” she said. “It is: ‘I am on Yahoo. I am going to do a search.’ ”

I am guessing this admission probably had the founders of Yahoo, David Filo and Jerry Yang, who had created the very first searchable directory of web content, turning over in their futons.  But from that day forward, Yahoo was never about search, but only other things...like AP stories, beauty tips, and articles about sports, style, and celebrities.  Not surprisingly, that was a poor substitute for a search engine.

Now Mayer, who came from Google, has decided that the fix is to use the Google engine, but that will still give Google users no reason to go to Yahoo.

What do you think?  Is there any way Yahoo could be relevant in your life?  Here are some of my ideas:

1) Go back into the search engine business (you claim you were never in it, I know, I know, but get past that).

2) Let people search for words within a certain distance of other words, or search for words mentioned at least x times on a page.

3) Let people search for words while excluding pages with other words on it.  Google lets you do this but not in an easy, intuitive way.

4) Let people annotate web results and save them.

5) Let people select web pages with a minimum number of words of content, or show the number of words on each web page in the search results.

6) In the web results show more of the context around the search words than Google does so we can get a better idea of if the page is relevant.

7) Give people an easy way to search by date (Google has this, too, but again, it's not intuitive or easy to use).

8) Make a news service that offers a more directory tree-based system – not simply clickable searches for "World" or "U.S.," but let us drill down into a directory of hundreds of topics and subtopics, all of which are searchable.  And don't arbitrarily group hundreds of stories together, as Google news does, into huge collections that are not easily viewable.

What do you think?  Is there anything Yahoo could do that would make you want to  give it another try?

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo's president, has come up with a brilliant idea: power Yahoo's searches with the Google search engine.  That way people who use Google might be tempted to try Yahoo because...actually, I don't understand it, either.

After three years as Yahoo’s chief executive, Marissa Mayer is still searching for a viable turnaround plan for the company.

Three years is a long time.  She hasn't done very much except for trying to milk Yahoo's shares in Alibaba.

Yahoo reported disappointing third-quarter financial results on Tuesday and said it would soon begin to use Google to power some of its search results and advertising.

“We see a unique moment for Yahoo to narrow our strategy,” she said in the call to discuss the quarter’s results. She said she would provide more details within the next three months, but the plan is likely to include staff cuts and the shutdown or sale of some of the company’s operations.

Actually, Yahoo hasn't had its own search engine for years.  It's been using Microsoft's Bing to power its results.  I'll always remember the day when Yahoo's coffin was nailed, when then-CEO Carol Bartz said that not only was Yahoo no longer a search engine company, but it had never been one.

Ms. Bartz places Yahoo’s position in a rather different light. “We have never been a search company,” she said. “It is: ‘I am on Yahoo. I am going to do a search.’ ”

I am guessing this admission probably had the founders of Yahoo, David Filo and Jerry Yang, who had created the very first searchable directory of web content, turning over in their futons.  But from that day forward, Yahoo was never about search, but only other things...like AP stories, beauty tips, and articles about sports, style, and celebrities.  Not surprisingly, that was a poor substitute for a search engine.

Now Mayer, who came from Google, has decided that the fix is to use the Google engine, but that will still give Google users no reason to go to Yahoo.

What do you think?  Is there any way Yahoo could be relevant in your life?  Here are some of my ideas:

1) Go back into the search engine business (you claim you were never in it, I know, I know, but get past that).

2) Let people search for words within a certain distance of other words, or search for words mentioned at least x times on a page.

3) Let people search for words while excluding pages with other words on it.  Google lets you do this but not in an easy, intuitive way.

4) Let people annotate web results and save them.

5) Let people select web pages with a minimum number of words of content, or show the number of words on each web page in the search results.

6) In the web results show more of the context around the search words than Google does so we can get a better idea of if the page is relevant.

7) Give people an easy way to search by date (Google has this, too, but again, it's not intuitive or easy to use).

8) Make a news service that offers a more directory tree-based system – not simply clickable searches for "World" or "U.S.," but let us drill down into a directory of hundreds of topics and subtopics, all of which are searchable.  And don't arbitrarily group hundreds of stories together, as Google news does, into huge collections that are not easily viewable.

What do you think?  Is there anything Yahoo could do that would make you want to  give it another try?

This article was written by Ed Straker, senior writer of NewsMachete.com, the conservative news site.