Yahoo’s Revamped Search Signals New Shot Across Google’s Bow
Just as we were about to write off Yahoo! as a has-been that’s pretty much a BING search lapdog along comes a Yahoo! revamp which produces a search product to rival Google Instant and a streamline of back-end services which augurs well for future developments.
Yahoo! said that it will be allowing advertisers to embed images or videos in the right-panel which appears next to the drop down box which displays its results to help monetize the new feature. This isn’t in effect yet, but it will eventually be, and Yahoo! is excited to make it available on the iPad.
Not everything has changed completely of course. Microsoft will be doing Yahoo!’s paid search and algorithmic backend, which Yahoo!’s Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer Blake Irving said will free up Yahoo!’s engineers to work on other improvements.
Yahoo! has its Search Direct set up here and will start to make it globally accessible on its normal search page as the month rolls along. Its executives said the new service, will speed up the time it takes users to find information on the Web and at a direct shot at Google, Yahoo executive Shashi Seth said during a demonstration, "People are looking for answers; they're not looking for links,".
It’s still early days of course but a look at Yahoo and Google on ‘Charlie Sheen’ as the pictures below illustrate shows that Google wins out by showing news (i.e. answers) from real-time searches while Yahoo! is the one which actually shows links.
It is possible that Yahoo! will get its Search Direct performing much better as time passes. Product launches however are really important and I still remember the time back in 1998 when Windows 98 crashed at a public demonstration as Bill Gates himself demonstrated it. Corporate culture is important because it spells out what shortcuts can be safely taken and what shortcuts should not. I may be wrong here but Microsoft’s involvement in Yahoo! has produced a poorer Yahoo! and not really benefited search globally either.