I can’t remember the last time I had a chance to write a little something about Yahoo that didn’t involve the word boatloads, layoffs or a product’s demise.
Today, Yahoo has announced (hold on to your hats) a search improvement called Yahoo Search Direct. Ok, cue the cool video to behold this strange wonder called a Yahoo search announcement.
I took the beta which can be found at search.yahoo.com out for a spin and it’s nifty in that it is a different search experience. Is it a better one? We’ll see.
It worked well on direct terms and more widely searched terms. Where is falls down a bit is at the local search level but that may be something that will evolve with time.
As with all changes in any search engine my immediate questions are
1) Is this going to get past just the industry types who will find this interesting, talk about it then wonder why no one else (meaning the rest of the world who actually moves away from their computer on a daily basis) is using it
2) Is there going to be marketing muscle to the masses to make them aware of this innovation or will it be left to user self-discovery.
If the answer to one is that only the industry will play with this then this is dead on arrival. If the answer to number two is that it will be a self discovery thing then it will do nothing to increase market share and could even stand to alienate that rare breed that uses Yahoo as their primary search engine.
So, I say Woo-hoo! for Yahoo as they make some strides in search. It’s about time and if they are to stand a chance in this game they need to make quite a few more announcements like this one. The key is not keeping it a secret.