Are You Fatigued By Search?

    October 15, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Yahoo cited a study that found only 15 percent of searchers find what they want with the first search they perform.

Are You Fatigued By Search?
Are You Fatigued By Search?

The situation forms part of what motivated Yahoo’s search team to launch Search Assist, a new feature for Yahoo Search, earlier this month.

Larry Cornett and Tom Chi said at the Yahoo Search blog they wanted to improve not just the search, but the query as well, by making it smarter. This would help people who customarily need three or four searches to find what they need.

The release of Search Assist breaks the problem of searching into two parts, they said. Part one is the autocomplete function of Search Assist. It speeds up typing the query and helps the poor spellers out there find what they want.

They also cited part two of the solution, where Search Assist helps people move sideways, backward or forward with a query:

So if you started with a query for ‘Thom Yorke,’ you might get a forward (refining) suggestion for ‘Eraser,’ his most recent album, or a backward (expanding) suggestion for ‘Radiohead,’ the band he’s a member of. You could also get a sideways (or related) suggestion such as ‘solo albums’ which, when clicking on the term in the left-hand column of Search Assist, will lead you to other lead singers with solo albums like Gwen Stefani or Eddie Vedder.

Search Assist is a friendly, powerful tool for searching. As search industry observers, we like seeing technology that makes it easier for people to accomplish their searches, along with spurring competition to raise the bar even further in the field.