Yahoo and search seem to be synonymous with news of whether it is going to be bought or sold. Well, today in an attempt to rise above the bing vs. Google talk that has dominated the news as of late, Yahoo has launched its Search Pad service. The WSJ’s Digits blog reports on the service that can help searchers organize their searches and keep track of where they were and why they were there.
Yahoo has been testing the feature — which allows users to save and take notes on search results they want to revisit — since February, when it first described it in this blog post. Yahoo describes it as a great way to keep track of Web pages related to planning a vacation or renovating a home.
That description pigeon-holes the service to a degree. I tried to get the service to initiate doing a search for laptops and got nothing. Apparently Yahoo felt that my searches for Major League Baseball stadiums deserved the recognition of Search Pad. Interesting result right out of the gate but at least it started for me.
The Digits blog gives the following rundown of just what Search Pad does
The service works like this: Search Pad detects when users appear to be conducting research-related searches based on patterns in their search queries, such as sequential searches for “ski vacations,” “cheap lift tickets” or “weather Colorado,” for instance. Then it asks them if they want to start saving the results, and if so, saves the links a user clicks on a separate screen where they can also jot down some notes like “useful snow report site.” Users who are logged in can access their links and notes another time and share them with friends.
As for the application of the service? To the user goes the usage, I suppose. I can see some value but at the same time I am not sure that I would take the time to save information that I am trying to get on the fly in most cases.
Here’s the real question. Will the service be any enticement at all to draw people from the pull of the planet Google or from the newness of bing? It is probably best suited for those people who use Yahoo as their primary search engine already. With Yahoo’s push to create more community through their rebranding efforts of the near future they need to ensure that people stick around for the new Yahoo. Right now, all of the buzz is going to the other guys and that’s not good news for Yahoo.
Have you tried Search Pad yet? If so chime in. If you haven’t yet, do you plan to in the future? Yahoo would love to know.