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A Look at the New Yahoo Search

Yahoo announced yesterday the new Yahoo search results page. It went through some beta testing in August — so I’ve had a bit of a look at this before — but at the launch it looks more integrated. And I’m kind of wondering why they’re bothering — isn’t Microsoft going to take over Yahoo’s search chores? Isn’t all this stuff going to get roundcanned? But at the same time it looks good enough that I’m happy to see it, and I’m encouraged to watch for more.

I did a search for Hawaii. Here’s what the result page looks like.

The New Yahoo Results Page

If you’ve been following along with ResearchBuzz, some of this is going to look familiar. The SearchPad, for instance. I reviewed that in July.Then there’s the experience itself, which was previewed in August. I actually searched on Hawaii then too so you can compare the two screenshots.

One big difference is that with the search pad in the upper left corner there’s also a toggle for SafeSearch. That’s great, but unfortunately that link does not act as a “toggle,” but just takes you to the preferences page. It would be great if it was more like a single-click switch, or perhaps just gave you a couple of quick sliders to adjust how filtered you want your search results.

Yahoo’s search results provide, along with its own Web results, results from other places around the Web like Wikipedia, YouTube, eHow, and Answers.com. What other properties are provided depends on the query you’re making, though I admit I was startled to see a Google property (YouTube) get such up-front placement on a Yahoo search results page.

I got some Wikipedia results in a couple of other searches, and clicked the information link on them. That took me to a beta site called the Yahoo Search Gallery, which lists some features that are already enacted in the new Yahoo search but a bunch that aren’t. I wandered through the galleries and added several features to the Yahoo search results, including getting delicious bookmark information and automatically pulling RSS feed information from a site and making that available in the search results. Here’s a page showing RSS feed information in the search results.

Yahoo with extra search result bits

My main complaint about Yahoo’s new search results was that the Web page listings themselves were fairly basic, with not enough information. The Search Gallery can seriously change that, and I’m looking forward to exploring it more.

Beneath the additional property results — and this is new since the preview in August — are links to additional query results based on the query you just made. Strawberry, for example, will get you links to suggested searches for strawberry recipes, strawberry pie, and Strawberry Wine lyrics. Pursuing those suggestions will naturally lead you to other suggestions and the next thing you know it’s twenty minutes later. There are also search suggestions under the query box, but they’re hidden and you’ll have to get to them via an arrow toggle. Once you click that you’ll see both related searches and related concepts.

Yahoo’s unveiled search results are fairly close to what was shown in the preview in September. But I like the bold inclusion of other information aggregations on the main results page, and I’m intrigued with the search gallery. But I’m also worried; is this all going to go away with the Microsoft deal becomes official?

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