Yahoo announces its answer to Google Instant search

Posted by David Gomez

Yahoo announced yesterday that it is making upgrades to its search engine that will bring up results in real-time.

According to CNET News, as the query is typed it will much resemble the “Google Instant” technology that was launched last year. It will be called “Search Direct” and Yahoo claims that this service, which is still in its beta phase, will provide users with "a fast, simple search experience that goes beyond a list of blue links."
    
One of the major highlights in Yahoo Search Direct is the way it gives results beyond the hyperlink. It does this with its ability to detect if queries are related to movies, television, local information, and trending news topics.
    
"With today's launch, direct answers--not the search results page--is the primary focus. We are redefining the search process and prominently displaying direct answers where search decisions are being made," said Shashi Seth, Yahoo senior vice president of search and marketplaces, in a statement.
 
"Search Direct is evidence of Yahoo! continuing to lead innovation in search, enabling people to take action faster, find what is most important, and sample what is possible with the next stage of search technology," he said.

The market share that Yahoo has in the search engine industry is currently flat, according to numbers released this month by Experian Hitwise. It was at about 16 percent in January and February, compared to Bing, which ticked up slightly from 13 percent to 13.6 percent over that same period of time.

Chief product officer at Yahoo, Blake Irving, said that Search Direct is aligned with the company’s aim to “engage and delight” users.

"When I saw the initial prototypes of the stuff, I was absolutely blown away," Irving said of Search Direct. Of its "very strong search alliance with Microsoft," Irving insisted that "Yahoo's still in the search game...(we focus on) the user experience and innovating there."
    
As of now you can see it on the search.yahoo.com page, and it will also be "wherever there's a search box" on Yahoo sites in a few months.
    
When Google Instant came out, Shashi Seth wrote a Yahoo blog post reminding people that Yahoo launched an instant search feature first in 2005.
    
"While many have suggested that innovation in the search experience is waning, we celebrate industry enhancements that build upon past innovation," he wrote--a bit of a backhanded compliment. "Though the advancement came too early for some, and the results were too overwhelming for others, Yahoo filed patent applications on the feature and continued to build upon and innovate in the search experience."