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Yahoo Search Experiments with Real Time Offering




yahoo-logoIt looks like Yahoo isn’t going to be left behind in the real time search race that was kicked off last month as bing and Google both announced deals with Twitter. As we saw last week, Yahoo is partnering with OneRiot for real time results. I’m glad that they are throwing their hat in the ring actually. Why? Well, I actually needed the reminder that Yahoo! is still a standalone search engine. While I have never used Yahoo search personally other than to gather up prospecting data I keep forgetting that the marriage of bing and Yahoo is still off on the horizon. Until then all we can do is combine their numbers with bing to see if there will be any impact at all felt by Google when the dust settles on the bingahoo deal-ahoo.

Reuters reports

Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O), looking to match rivals in providing up-to-the-minute Internet search results, is running tests with several real-time search partners, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

Among the companies providing real-time results to Yahoo on a trial basis is OneRiot, whose data will be available initially to about 10 percent of Yahoo’s users, said a person familiar with the matter, who was not authorized to speak about the deal and asked for anonymity.

A representative from OneRiot said she could not comment on the matter.

OneRiot is new to me but since I don’t claim to know everything that’s OK. What I do know now is that they have VC backing so someone knows a lot about them for sure. Yahoo appears to be avoiding the direct to Twitter technique that its new search ‘partner’ bing went after. OneRiot has a slightly different approach to the real-time world which is interesting.

One Riot, based in Boulder, Colorado, collects real-time Internet information from various sources, including Twitter, Digg and its own network of 3 million users that use the company’s software. The company has raised $27 million in funding to date.

So as not to make the bingahoo union any less confusing as to how it will eventually look the article tells us

Yahoo signed a separate 10-year search deal with Microsoft in July, which is expected to close next year. Under the terms of that deal, any data Microsoft’s search engine has access to also would be accessible to Yahoo, Yahoo Chief Technology Officer Ari Balogh said last month.

Huh? Will this still be two entities working in co-opetition? Will Yahoo be building out its search offerings up until the time of the unholy alliance and just try to look a little different but not actually be different? Yahoo is trying out the real time search results in a separate box at the top of the SERPs to see if people are really interested in real time results. If they are not interested then will Yahoo just accept that bing does it and have to work with something they may have tossed in the past? Probably not even worth fretting over but it does make one wonder just what this bingahoo thingy will look like when it is ‘official’.

Honestly, I can’t wait until bing and Yahoo officially join forces. I suspect there will be a considerable amount of blogger fodder that is produced by the ‘final’ product. Seeing that they can’t even get the contract in order yet I’m willing to bet the union of these two search entities will be more like co-habitation than a true marriage.