A Future S.A.T. Question?

MySpace is to Facebook as Yahoo! is to ___________.

The answer, according to Hitwise, is: Google.

Just as Facebook users are higher on the socioeconomic ladder than MySpace users, people who use Google as their search engine are better off than those who use Yahoo!. Google is most popular among users defined as “Affluent Suburbia,” “Upscale America,” and “Small Town Contentment,” while Yahoo! is most popular among “Struggling Societies,” “Urban Essence,” and “Blue Collar Backbone.”

And while this might indeed make a good S.A.T. question, by its very nature it would probably be nixed because of cultural bias.

If nothing else, it makes for a good parlor game. For instance: which search engine do you think everyone in the movie Juno uses?

(Hat tip: Alon Nir and several others.)


I cannot think of a more important topic of discussion than the one Mister Dubner has selected. In any event, I do wish--humbly, to be sure--to submit that perhaps it is not wholly unreasonable to suppose that there are some (declasse or, alternatively, "arribistas"?) who move back and forth between Yahoo and Google. Furthermore--although the following might be impishly and unnecesarily to complicate matters beyond what is socially acceptable--it is possible for someone almost simultaneously to use both Yahoo and Google. Of course, such a person could only add to the kind of cufusion that the NYT seems bent on eradicating.

Whit E. Knight

What about if you use MySpace and Google, what does that make you?


The capture of some statistics never ceases to amaze me. Unfortunately many of these statistics have little to no real meaning.



I would like to point out that using Google does not make you rich (correlation vs causation).

Everyone in Juno would use something obscure and pretentious, like hakia.


When the SATs dropped the analogy questions, every single newspaper article seemed to refer to them as "the dreaded analogy questions" and implied that high school students were dancing in the streets over their demise. I never really understood why they were any worse (or better, for that matter) than other types of questions.


As far as facebook is concerned, could it have to do with they were originally open to college students only, while myspace was open to all? And generally, those with a college education are going to be better off socioeconomically then others, all things being equal.


What does using friendster make you (other than Asian more than likely)


Drew! I was just about to mention Ask Jeeves. I absolutely LOVED that search engine. But doesn't ask.com still exist? Isn't it the same thing?

Ross Gilbert

"Google is a search engine.
Yahoo is a portal.
Each does certain things well.
Trying to use yahoo as a search engine is a newbie mistake, similar to using IE instead of firefox."

Can anyone say, Nick Burns: Your Company's Computer Guy?


MySpace also got big before Facebook did, just like Yahoo and Google. Yahoo was an Internet giant when Google was just a tiny website, but we all know what Google has evolved into with some innovation and a faster, simpler interface. Facebook did the same thing (except that it took less time); its interface is much more simple and upscale than MySpace's.


The characters are much more likely to use Yahoo, because Yahoo is much more likely to pay a product placement fee to the producers.

Mike Buxbaum

freakonomics : economics :: Jell-o : haute cuisine

Emily Bayer

Are you kidding? What about Juno wasn't obscure and pretentious? Not to mention annoying and not funny.


Not to mention that both Google (email) and Facebook have privacy policies that redefine themselves: "your right to privacy is our right to piracy".


Why would you not use Dogpile, unless you needed a content specific item from a site?

Also, Juno being entertainment, I would expect they use MSN, because the cash cow can still shell out for publicity and then some.


I don't know a single person who still uses Yahoo as a search engine. People who use many of its other features, yeah. I use lots of Yahoo stuff.

But to search? That's madness.


Dah ... juno is set in 1991, Google wasn't around....


Or it wouldn't be used on the SATs anymore because they scrapped the "analogy" part of the verbal section :)


I wonder if a similar parallel exists with Mapquest and Google Maps?

Keith M

I just took an informal survey of my inner-city (San Bernardino, CA) high school students. So low income, young (freshmen), and from fairly uneducated families.

99% said they use Google, about 20% said they use both Yahoo! and Google. Only 1 person out of 100 said they only use Yahoo!.