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Yahoo Suggestions for Image Search

Search Assist with Thumbnails

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You’re probably familiar with Yahoo Search Assist. It’s their version of Google Suggest, even though it came out first (at least as a default feature on the search engine). It suggests search terms as you type in your query. In case you are too lazy to continue typing, you can click on one of the suggestions provided and get to your results.

They recently launched it for Yahoo Image Search, but have now started incorporating a feature that actually brings up samples of image results along with the actual text query suggestions.

"To better enhance the search experience, we took a two-tiered approach to the query formulation and refinement process," explains Yahoo Search Director of Product Management Kaushal Kurapati. "In the first stage, we’ve maintained the same paradigm of text suggestions that have helped users of web search complete and refine queries. The second stage is new – from now on, Search Assist can be opened after a query is entered into the search box for users to preview sample thumbnails for the top related search terms."

The example they give is a query for roses, which brings up suggestions for red roses, Guns N’ Roses, black roses, etc. So it brings up thumbnails for the first few of these terms as well (as illustrated below).

Roses

Unfortunately, this example of "roses" is the only thing that seems to yield this new feature (and so far it only works from results pages). I tried a variety of other queries from "rose" to "apples" to "Prince," all of which bring up a number of text suggestions, but no thumbnails.

It is unknown when this new feature will be complete, but I would assume that it won’t be too long. Once it does, it should be an eye-catching feature for Yahoo Image Search users if nothing else.

Will this have a tremendous impact on the way people search for images? Probably not. I don’t need a search engine to show me the difference between Axl Rose and a black flower, and if I wanted pictures of Guns N’ Roses, I’d probably just search for Guns N’ Roses, but I suppose its a nifty enough feature. I wouldn’t expect it to sway many users away from Google, however. Besides, I wouldn’t be surprised if Google followed suit and implemented a similar feature in the future.

Yahoo Suggestions for Image Search
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