Late last night Yahoo announced that their “New Yahoo! Search” has launched. This new search was the result of time spent researching, designing, and engineering, to provide a better search for Yahoo users. Over the last several years, Yahoo has lost some of their users to Google’s search, so a change in their search was necessary. The biggest change to the search is the addition of search suggestions and related concepts in a drop down box that uses Ajax.
Search suggestions aren’t entirely new to Yahoo. You may recall back in July when Yahoo initially introduced the search suggest feature. The change between July and now is that it’s more advanced and has an updated look. It’s also easier to disable the search suggestions which are enabled by default. If you don’t want the search suggestions, all you have to do is click “off” in the upper right corner of the box.
Yahoo pointed out that users aren’t always looking for a link to text which is true. We search for all kinds of things these days including multimedia like videos and photos. Yahoo has now integrated multimedia content when it’s available. Images are incorporated form Flickr, and playable videos are embedded into the search results page. For example, searching for “evolution of dance” displays results including the embedded YouTube video which can be played right from the search results.
For those of you who use Yahoo as your primary search engine, you’ve probably noticed Yahoo Shortcuts at the top of some of your searches. These shortcuts automatically appear when it is relevant to your search and contains all kinds of helpful information. Those shortcuts are still included with the results in the new Yahoo search, but now there are more shortcuts that Yahoo is offering like area codes and phone numbers, and Artist and Song lyrics. These are in addition to some of the current offerings like stock quotes, flight comparisons, dictionary definitions, U.S. Patents, and more.
Overall I’d say that all of these changes will be beneficial to many of their users. And if by chance there are users that don’t particularly care for search suggestions or other concepts to explore, no problem – it can be disabled. It’s nice to see Yahoo making some changes to their search so that they can offer a better product.