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Yahoo reverses itself on search-engine comments

Yahoo on Wednesday appeared to withdraw from statements made by executives that the company had conceded the search-engine war to Google.

"There's been a lot of conjecture and confusion today about Yahoo's commitment to being the world's best search engine," according to a post on the company's blog dedicated to its search engine.

Such speculation, according to the company, is "just plain wrong."

Susan Decker, Yahoo's chief financial officer, sounded to some as if Yahoo was throwing in the towel when it came to search after quotes attributed to her appeared in a story published this week by Bloomberg News.

"We don't think it's reasonable to assume we're going to gain a lot of share from Google," Decker said in the Bloomberg interview. "It's not our goal to be No. 1 in Internet search. We would be very happy to maintain our market share."

Decker's quotes were even more unsettling to some observers having come a week after Yahoo Chairman Terry Semel heaped praised on Google. "Frankly, Google has done a better job than us," Semel told the Associated Press.

The blogged response, which was authored by Qi Lu, and Eckart Walther, both vice presidents at Yahoo search, defended the company's search technology and the employees behind it.

"Many of us have worked in search for more than a decade and invented much of the technology modern search engines are based on," said the post.

"Believe it or not, we are still in the early days of search. As all of us at Yahoo agree, we're in it for the long haul, and we're in it to win.