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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[Oct. 20] : Historical Review of This Week in Search

6 Years Ago : October 20, 2004
Over on SearchDay Veterans of AltaVista, Excite and Infoseek reminisce about the early days of web search, and opine about Google, then and now.

“Doug Cutting, Primary Developer, Nutch (formerly Senior Architect, Excite), Steve Kirsch, founder, Propel Software (formerly founder, Infoseek) and Louis Monier, head of R&D, eBay (formerly chief technical officer, AltaVista) together, reminisced about the early years of search engines.

And one by one, they each openly admitted that they had been approached by two students with a new idea for a search engine. “Go pound sand I told them” said Steve Kirsh. “I wasn’t impressed with their demo at all” said Doug Cutting. “I didn’t have the authority to sign a check anyway” said Louis Monier.

The two students which they all turned away, of course, were Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Their new idea for search was called PageRank, and would eventually become the power behind Google.”

It’s probably safe to say that Doug, Steve & Louis are still kicking themselves.

Over on Search Engine Round Table online marketers discuss Bush & Kerry search battles. A press release goes on to provide some research detailing the specifics of Pay Per Click on Google. Who bids on the candidates names, What they are promoting, How many people, and so on. One funny observation appears to be that Democrats are promoting an online dating website for single Democrats for a searches on “John Kerry”, but Republicans don’t do so for “George W. Bush”. Meaningful, not exactly, but somewhat entertaining.

I wonder if the there are similar shenanigans for the November 20 mid-term elections?

Rusty Brick asks: “What in your mind can a search engine announce to the public and have such a drastic impact on the SEO community? Responses include:

(1) The announcement by Google of a pay for inclusion service.
(2) Google Desktop now utilizes the contents of your computer to give you customized search results.
(3) Microsoft buys both Yahoo and Google (MicroYahoogle).
(4) Google releases a 64-bit operating system that is backwards compatible with all Windows software.
(5) Google announces new open source algo.

Funny how the more things change in search, the more they say the same?

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