A week ago, we unofficially announced Yahoo's cool upcoming features like, sharp layout, user interface, search suggestion and more! Many features and updates have been updated to Yahoo! It has been a slow but worthwhile process. Back in June, Yahoo! launched the first ever Yahoo! shortcuts, a start for many upcoming changes and additions.
This much anticipated launch has been awaited by both industry experts and by Yahoo! enthusiasts alike. It is a culmination of all the efforts that Yahoo! has made so far. Now, the official Yahoo! Search blog announces all its new features in a blog called "From "To Do" to "Done" in One Search". "Whatever it is you want to do: research a topic, find a website, plan a vacation, research a medical condition, view a funny video, or any of the other billions of queries we get from users — their intents expressed via a few keywords in a search box."
First and foremost is Yahoo! Search Assist.
"Yahoo! Search Assist kicks it up a notch, bringing suggestions to the search results page, along with related concepts that give users a point-and-click query refinement capability that enables them to explore a subject area they may be unfamiliar with."
Anytime, someone types a query in Yahoo!, the algorithm's refinement capability makes it explore a subject area they may be unfamiliar with. For eg: If you ran a search on Paris. The new Yahoo!Search Assist knows that the following concepts are related to your query. These range from Paris vacations, Disneyland Paris, Disneyland resort Paris, Paris France, Paris Las Vegas, Paris by night etc.
- shows up when you need it or ask for it
- offers real-time suggestions and concepts to explore
- Search Assist is that, it can be turned on and off as you please
Apparently, when a test was performed on Yahoo! Search Assist, 'in one metric they found a 61% increase in successful task completion when users had Search Assist as part of their search experience'. Moreover, as a company that has been in search for a long time, it knows that generic people are not too 'search query-savvy'. This is another reason why Yahoo! Search Assist and its suggestions will not only improve user experience but also encourage it.
Header and Footer
Another new addition is Yahoo! Search's header and footer. This too aims on making users get things done. The previous arrangement has been altered. The search box has been shifted to the left of the padge, so that it aligns with SERPs. Also, it now becomes easier to browse through the results and seek what we are looking for.
Yahoo! SERPs now accommodate links of videos from YouTube, Metacafe or Yahoo! Video. These , in addition to the link you get an inline video player so you can watch those videos immediately. When your search results include links to videos from YouTube, Metacafe or Yahoo! Video. In addition, you will also receive an inline video player which provides a platform for you to watch all the videos on. I ran a search on Asafa Powell and the SERPs had two YouTube videos of Asafa Powell.
One of the many updates of Yahoo's new Multimedia improvements, include Flickr photos. Now, when a Flickr photo or tag shows up in your results, you get to see those great photos in addition to getting a link.
Yahoo! Baseball Shortcuts
Back in August, Yahoo! embedded baseball shortcuts in their SERPs.
Yahoo! NFL Shortcuts
This was out by the end of August. If you run a quick search on say, Tom Brady, a shortcut returns with information that includes his picture, name, number, position, news, scores, schedules, photos, quick stats and more.
Yahoo! Music Shortcuts
With the advent of Yahoo Audio Search with the click of a mous, you have your favorite songs on your fingertips. In Yahoo! Audio, you can search for audio files from all over the world wide web through music, podcasts, interviews and more.
Google Vs. Yahoo!
An interesting observation listed by Tomer Molovinsky is that, on searching "sprint store near glendale arizona" Google shows better results.
As much as Yahoo! would like to, it might not be able to make regular Googlers switch loyalties. However, in terms of search and the entire user experience, it has improved by leaps and bounds.
In the words of Yahoo!, "people really don't want to search; they want to get things done. Today, we're launching an all new Yahoo! Search experience that gets users the answers they're looking for quickly and easily, and often in one search."
Another disadvantage of Yahoo's universal search is that, the SERPs tend to get all cluttered with non-organic results. But then, this is not a problem only with Yahoo! This is something that holds true with all big search engine sites.
All in all, kudos to Yahoo! For creating something that looks good and works wonderfully too.