A claim that several people questions. I am not in the position to have qualified theories about that, but I am running a web site that reflects that something clearly has happened to the engine over at Yahoo.
In Trendmapper nearly all the charts searching for phrases with a significant amount of hits had a big jump in its Yahoo curve earlier this month.
Actually, a search that looked useless at first have become quite useful for me. Every night Trendmapper searches for several thousand phrases and records the amount of hits. The word “the” has been added in the system, and is in itself not interesting. However, the word is so common that the charts actually reflects something about the performance of the engines themselves.
As you can see in the thumbnail here in my post, something happened to the red Yahoo curve in the beginning of August. If you click the thumbnail you are taken to the page for the chart.
To be precise, at the second of August Yahoo reported 1 978 791 943 hits on “the”. On the third of August this jumped to 9 583 745 268.