Yahoo India has launched a new feature in their search results called “Glue” pages. As Barry Schwartz explains:
Glue Pages are specialized pages that contain an enhanced visual search result page, for select search queries. The search results that trigger the special “Glue Pages” run across searches in health, sports, entertainment, travel, technology, and finance categories.
The new pages are not quite equivalent with Google’s Universal Search blended SERPs, as the various types of information are broken out into separate columns. Instead the results more closely resemble those of Ask3D.
The exact layout of the pages and content of the columns vary with the query. The columns I’ve seen include everything from sponsored results to news to images to video to music to Wikipedia & other online encyclopedias to Yahoo Answers excerpts. Below is a screencap of a search for diabetes:
On Glue pages, Yahoo features a popup explanation of what Glue pages are:
If you don’t care for Glue pages, classic search results are a tabbed alternative available below the search box.
While the information comes from other sources, it appears that a fair amount of “hand programming” has gone into this to select the most appropriate page layouts and information sources for each query. Which does raise the question: will it scale? Obviously, longer and more specific searches will probably never have Glue pages.
Obviously, this is a pretty cool advance for Yahoo. It looks as though with this improvement they’re acknowledging that search engines are where people go to find answers—and if Yahoo can provide the answers themselves without sending users to other sites, they’ll keep and hopefully gain more eyeballs.
On the other hand, search engines are not a destination. But could Glue pages change that? Let’s start the blog pool: when will we see these on Yahoo’s main site?