Watch your p’s and q’s

Go to google and search for “foo bar”

You get some variety of this:
http://www.google.com/search?q=foo+bar
Notice the q= part. It is describing the term you searched for.

Now go to yahoo.com and do the exact same thing.
http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=foo+bar

Notice the p= part.  It’s p not q.

Why is Yahoo using “p” when Google is using “q”?  What is the point?  Why do they have to be different?

So now, as a web developer, I need write a bunch of ridiculous script to figure out who uses what and normalize it.  Isn’t there a universal search engine police that can make a law?

It amazes me how something as simple as a letter can change how much work tens of thousands of people have do.

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