Yahoo announced something called Search Direct today. You might consider it Yahoo's answer to Google Instant, though it works a little bit differently.
"With today's launch, direct answers – not the search results page – is the primary focus," says Yahoo Search and Marketplaces SVP Shashi Seth. "We are redefining the search process and prominently displaying direct answers where search decisions are being made."
"Search Direct is evidence of Yahoo! continuing to lead innovation in search, enabling people to take action faster, find what is most important, and sample what is possible with the next stage of search technology," he adds.
"With Search Direct, Yahoo! content is combined with information from the Web to provide rich answers, not just links, and to give people the option to immediately engage or continue to a traditional search results page," the company says. "In this beta release, coverage includes top trending searches, movies, TV, sports teams and players, weather, local, travel, stocks, and shopping categories now available at search.yahoo.com."
With the "Trending Searches", you can instantly see the top search trends, which are updated every 10 minutes. Then 10 "most likely" searches are displayed once you start typing your query. Direct answers are also displayed when applicable (address, phone numbers, weather, stock info, etc.). Rich content from other Yahoo properties is also displayed when appropriate.
Search Direct would appear to be the first major search-related product launch we've see in a while from Yahoo, proving that the company does still care about search post Bing Search alliance.
Search Direct is rolling out in Beta in the U.S. today. The company says it will become available across other Yahoo products and other markets later this year.