Yahoo: Our Version of Instant Too Early For its Time

    October 10, 2010
    Chris Crum

As we reported earlier, Yahoo has some new search features like slideshows above search results for topics on its Trending Now lists, an app for Netflix members to add DVDs to their queue directly from the search results page and shortcuts for entertainment related topics that include images, articles, videos, tweets, event listings and ratings. 

Yahoo shared a bit more info with us about the features. "The features launched this week leverage partnerships with Netflix, Songkick, and," Yahoo’s Meagan Busath. "We’re taking a multi-faceted approach to bringing people the most comprehensive, relevant information about the topics they’re interested in, and partnerships is one part of that approach."

"The new features supplement the organic listings provided by the Microsoft search platform," she says. "Our new intelligent shortcuts for music, movie and news queries appear above the organic listings, and include the most relevant content from a range of sources across Yahoo!, from our partners, and in some cases from the Microsoft search platform."

As you may know, Yahoo has indicated that Google Instant infringes on patents it holds. We asked if Yahoo would consider actually launching an "instant" search feature, showing results as users type, in the future. "Both our new features and Google Instant show that there is more room to innovate the search experience, which remains our commitment and focus," says Busath.

"The notion of predicting a given person’s intended search was actually first introduced by Yahoo!’s ‘Instant Search’ feature in 2005, for which Yahoo! filed patents," she adds. "While Yahoo!’s initial version of ‘instant’ search came too early for its time, we continue to build upon that technology in the effort to enhance results with personal relevance and context, and to better predict a user’s intent with useful tools such as Yahoo! Search Assist."

Microsoft recently joined Yahoo in criticizing Google Instant. Meanwhile, Google continues to add the feature to more types of search and more countries. 


Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.