Yahoo! plays catch-up
Yahoo! has released a beta version of Search Assist, which it hopes will improve on rival technology Google Instant when released on a wider scale.
Yahoo! introduces Search Assist to rival Google Instant
Thursday, November 18 2010 by Kate Billinghurst
Yahoo! may be playing catch-up with Google in terms of popularity with internet consultants and other users, but it appears to be trying as hard as it can to keep pace.
The search engine giant recently unveiled its new Search Assist beta version, which very much resembles Google’s recently released Google Instant functionality, a tool that has itself been rolled out more widely following a beta test.
As with Google Instant, Search Assist beta displays direct link search result matches instantly as users type, which again presents all manner of conundrums for companies keen on improving their website promotion through search.
Yahoo! hopes that this innovation will eventually make browsing the internet “easy, enjoyable and fast”.
In contrast to Google’s tool, Search Assist promises to give searchers both a helpful set of top-clicked results for a topic, in addition to an instant answer. These are displayed in a separate window – much like the now ubiquitous auto-complete function for most search phrases being entered into search boxes online.
“With this initial test, we are surfacing rich answers for sports players & teams, news, TV shows, and trending searches. We’re excited about this beta release and are looking forward to expanding coverage and making it available to more of you in the months to come,” noted Yahoo! Search group product manager Ethan Batraski in a post on the Yahoo! Search Blog.
In an interview with Search Engine Land editor-in-chief Danny Sullivan, Yahoo Search senior vice-president Shashi Seth suggested that around five per cent of Yahoo’s users are currently getting access to Search Assist beta.
However, interestingly, he noted that although Search Assist covers up pay per click search advertising, this has not impacted revenue. Although, it is early days, and hopefully the end proof of this will emerge when it is released to all Yahoo! users.
Living Streams “Improving clients’ profitability through better use of the internet”.