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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Yahoo search direct - new feature

Yahoo! Search Direct is a new feature introduced on March 23 2011. Search Direct contributes to users finding answers and navigating the web using fewer keystrokes. Yahoo! Search Direct delivers answers and direct access to websites before you complete a query or click the search button. Here you can try how Yahoo search direct works:

How Yahoo! search direct really works?

When user type a search query in the search box, Search Direct displays a dynamic tray below the search box using the following layout:

Yahoo Direct Search Curiosity

  • The left-side part displays phrases that were used as search queries across the Yahoo! network. These queries combined with search term popularity and other relevancy factors are used to select these suggestions.

  • The right-side displays answers and rich content from Yahoo! properties or other websites and resources. When mouse over any of the terms with your pointer, on the left-side, displays new content on the right-side. You may see answers, enhanced links, or rich content, including icons, images, and related information on the right side.

Yahoo! search direct very closely mimics Yahoo's own Search Assist, launched in November. Yahoo Search Direct predictive-search technology comes several months after Google Instant.

Few words about Google Instant

Google Instant is a relatively new search enhancement that shows results as user type search query. With Google Instant user can adapt his search on the fly until the results match exactly what he want. Google instant is available to Google users.

Benefits of Google Instant

  • Faster Searches: By predicting user search and showing results before he finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search

  • Smarter Predictions: Even when user don’t know exactly what he looking for, predictions help guide his search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so he can stop typing as soon as you see what you need.

  • Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before user eyes. Until now, user had to type a full search term, click return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as use type, helping him to see where he is headed

Yahoo! search direct vs. Google Instant

I am using Google as a primary search engine and find Google Instant very helpful. Yahoo! search direct is a nice new feature but in my opinion Google instant is better designed and more easy to use. At this moment I try with a search term: "direct search". First term offered by yahoo is: "yahoo direct search" with a suggestion for top sites: "How do I turn off Yahoo direct Search?". It is not a very good sign for this new technology :)

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