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Yahoo Searches for Search Relevance Through UI Changes



When it comes to Yahoo these days the news is rarely good. Between executive musical chairs and concerns about the direction of the company as a whole there is a need for some good news to come out of the once high-flying Internet company.

SearchEngineLand reports on changes that are taking place in the Yahoo search offering that are an attempt to get back in the game. Since Yahoo no longer has to worry about doing the actual search (it’s powered by bing these days as we all know) it’s job is to help those who use Yahoo search (who most likely have no clue that bing is involved at all and could care less) with nifty user interface tweaks that make the search experience better. The most obvious is the search “accordion” which gives the searcher the chance to see several types of results without scrolling down. Here’s a look.

I think it’s a pretty cool offering. Here’s the trouble. It’s still Yahoo search. I could spend the rest of this post talking about the other features that have been rolled out in addition to the one shown above (they are by the way a feature called “quick apps” and improvements on image search) but why bother?

Here’s the reality of the situation when it comes to Yahoo search. In order for it to grow it has to convince hardcore Google users to crossover (unlikely) or get the next generation of searchers interested (unlikely as well since they are more Google centric because their parents have taught them).

So where does this all lead? I don’t have a crystal ball but unless Yahoo actually persuades people that they are going to get more from searching on “bingahoo” there is really no compelling reason to switch no matter how many trinkets and baubles you put on the Yahoo search product.

Pilgrims, tell us what your view of Yahoo is in the marketplace for search. Is it relevant and does it have a chance to grow? What do you see happening over the 5 years for the search element of Yahoo?

  • http://trafficcoleman.com/ TrafficColeman

    Well to be honestly I see Yahoo in the same place its in now..behind Google..and that’s just the facts about. Yahoo will have to do a lot on remodeling if that want to steal the hearts of Google searchers.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

  • http://www.rca-ieftin.com RCA ieftin

    Here’s the reality of the situation when it comes to Yahoo search.

  • http://www.theaffordableseo.com Jennifer Yaniz

    I see yahoo failing and Google becoming the dominant search engine.

  • SBR

    Ummmm…Google is alreay the dominant search engine.

    But that’s not to say that other engines can’t creat unique compelling experiences and draw new users from other engines?

    You don’t always go to the same fast food place or same grocery store do you? No. Sometimes you go to McDonalds and sometimes you go to Burger King. Sometimes you go to the grocer down the steet and other times you go to Costco because you want cheap stuff in bulk.

    People went to Bing when it came out with new unique search features for travel and images.

    It all comes down to the engines differentiating themselves from eachother and offering unique compelling experiences. I go to Google to do blog searches, I go to Yahoo to do most of my sports , and extertainment searching, and I go to Bing to do travel research. I go to each becasue each offers a better experience in those respective areas.

    • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

      @SBR – I see your point but I suspect you are among the minority by using various engines for different search types. Remember to think about the regular search user who is not in the industry and not reading Marketing Pilgrim. Do you really think they switch around like you do?

      • SBR

        The regular search user probably doesn’t know the differences between Google, Yahoo, and Bing so they would be suseptible to using whatever fits their needs. The only reason regular search users use Google is becasue that’s what they hear everybody else use.

        But that can easily change if Bing or Yahoo comes out with unique featues that Google doesn’t have.

        Yes, relevance is what won it for Google back in the day. But it’s far beyond that now as the big three engines are so similar in terms of search results. So if one engine introduces a unique experience that niether of the other engines offer, people are going to be curious and try it out. It’s why Google keeps innovating. They know they can’t just rely on relevance anymore.

        The regular search users are the easy ones to steal away becasue they are the easiest to influence with something new. They easily switched from Yahoo to Google, right? Regular users easily switched from MySpace to Facebook. Regular users switched from Blackberries to iPhones. I’m sure all of these regular users loved their other products and services until something better came out.

        Bing and Yahoo have to come out with something better. That’s all there is to it. I don’t think Yahoo’s new features are game changers but I agree with you that they’re cool offerings.

  • http://www.infofilmi.info/ Filmi Online

    No one can beat Google. I hear that yahoo and bing will join their SERP to be a concurent of Google

  • http://ofwsbook.blogspot.com eubilisa

    Pretty good if yahoo and bing will do everything they can to improve their search service but I will still go to google.