Yahoo “Special K” To See Why Google is Winning

In a recent TV commercial for the [Kellogg’s]( breakfast cereal, the call to action for viewers is to search for [`special k`]( using the Yahoo search engine. [Hitwise has talked about]( how the TV ad affects search volume for the term.

What’s interesting about this is that “Special K” is slang for [Ketamine]( a “general dissociative anesthetic for human and veterinary use” that is used as a recreational drug. Why would Kellogg’s risk associating their cereal with recreational drug use by inviting their customers to a page which is purported to be an unbiased representation of a search term?

A quick visit to the Yahoo page shows absolutely no results related to Ketamine or recreational drug use. However, a [Google search for `special k`]( devotes positions 4, 5, 6, 7, and 10 to pages related to Ketamine plus 1 of 7 related searches include a drug reference.

To give perspective, a Google search for `”special k”` (in quotes) gives 1.33 million results. Removing any references to the cereal using the search [`”special k” -kellogg -cereal`]( yields 1.17 million results. If 88% of web pages on the internet which mention “special k” are talking about the drug, how can none of Yahoo’s top results for the term mention the drug?

This is an example of the culture difference between these two engines that yields a dramatically different result in user loyalty.

**Edit:** Upon further research, it looks like [someone already noted a difference in the search results]( (Kocchi just misinterpreted the *direction* of slant.)

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