Yahoo Search Direct

Yahoo rolled out Yahoo Search Direct yesterday, its rival to Google Instant. Yahoo says that its service is focused on providing actual answers, while Google’s version of instant results is focused on links. Search Direct is live on search.yahoo.com and other U.S. Yahoo search properties, but not yet on the homepage of yahoo.com

How it works: Yahoo Search Direct offers the top 30 results from its index and as the user types, Yahoo refines the results to provide visitors the top 10 most likely to be relevant results in the lower left portion of the user interface and the top 3 results on the right side of the user interface. Yahoo said that right now the links and content being shown in the right part of the user interface are the URLs that are the “most clicked” throughout the Yahoo network. Yahoo calls these its search previews.

  • Please know this is a beta release and predominantly organized around sports, news, TV, movies, local, finance, shopping, travel, weather, and trending search themes.
  • Yahoo contends that for about 50% of the top queries on the web there is a “definite answer” and that Yahoo Search Direct provides these answers.
  • Yahoo notes that  when expressed on tablets or mobile devices Yahoo Search Direct could take very different forms.
  • Yahoo said that Search Direct uses an algorithm distinct from Microsoft’s organic search algorithm.
  • Yahoo notes that rankings can change moment to moment because Search Direct is dynamic.

The new search builds on Yahoo’s attempt to stay relevant in the lucrative search market by focusing on user experience, now that it has farmed out the expensive infrastructure to Microsoft, in exchange for ad-revenue sharing.

In my opinion:

  • Seems like a good way to marginalize advertising revenues while amplifying results for Yahoo channels, like shopping, travel, etc.
  • UI is interesting when considering the future use of tablets and smart phones.
  • Seems like a good way to marginalize advertising revenues while amplifying results for Yahoo channels, like shopping, travel, etc.

Articles & References:

Yahoo!’s New Search Box of Awesome: Search Direct
Yahoo debuts ‘future of search’
Yahoo Reveals Secrets Of “Search Direct” Algorithm
Head-To-Head: Yahoo Search Direct Vs. Google Instant

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