Yahoo Launches “New Search Experience” for Some Reason

So Yahoo and Microsoft are teaming up if they can get regulatory approval. Everyone agrees that Yahoo is now a mere shadow of its old glory, a shell of its former self. So why is Yahoo all of a sudden doing all kinds of nifty search things? Yesterday it announced a new search experience. I thought Yahoo was going to give over to Microsoft. And besides, I thought Yahoo wasn’t ever really a search company anyway. Yahoo, you are not acting very shadow- or shell-like.

Not that I mind! I’m going to enjoy this new Yahoo while I can. The more search engine competitor the merrier, right? Darn straight!

So anyway, the new “search experience” was announced yesterday as a new search results page, that’s being rolled out as a test, “available randomly” around the world. I was lucky enough to get the new search results page after a few minutes of trying different searches. Here’s what it looks like:

Yahoo's new search result look

Yahoo’s doing some interesting stuff here. First of all the search pad tool, which allows you to aggregate data from different result pages, has a more front-and-center presentation. Yahoo’s also giving some prime real estate to third-party data sources like Wikipedia and Loney Planet — pretty bold and not a bad idea! Related concept searches are also available on the left side bar, along with some related searches in an area underneath the query form. (This box is hidden by default.) The advanced search doesn’t look much different from Yahoo’s regular advanced search, but the preferences page gives you a host of options, including when to show search suggestions, what third-party data sources to show on the left, and Search Scan settings.

With all the interesting trappings around the search results, the search results themselves, unfortunately, look — kind of tepid. What appeared in the search results themselves were fine in the tests I ran, and there is some multimedia included in the search results, but the listings themselves have minimal excerpts and only a link to cached items. How about at least some larger excerpts, if not information on indexing date?

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