Yahoo Unveils New Search Design

    August 24, 2009
    Chris Crum

Yahoo discussed the future of Yahoo Search today. They are launching a new search design that goes along with the new look of the Yahoo Home Page, which was recently launched itself.

The new search has a three-column layout (Search Engine Land has a bunch of screenshots), with most of the changes occurring in the left-hand column. This is where filters and search applications reside.

New Yahoo Search framework via Search Engine Land

Image from Search Engine Land

One interesting aspect of the new Yahoo Search is that they are going after Google (apparently calling them out by name) with regards to searching for people. When you search for a person you will get their Facebook, Twtitter, LinkedIn, and FriendFeed profiles when applicable.

Larry Cornett"When we launch this, you’re going to come to Yahoo to search for people," Larry Cornett, VP Search Products and Design is quoted as saying. There appears to be a heavy focus on personalization with the new Yahoo Search.

As you are probably well aware, Yahoo has a deal in the works with Microsoft that will have Bing delivering the search results for Yahoo searches, should the deal get through regulators. Yahoo says it will still compete on the front-end. They want to give users the best front-end search experience, which they will build themselves, based on Bing’s back-end technology.

When asked how different search results will look on Yahoo from those on Bing, Yahoo said, "We are not a version of Bing. We are the Yahoo search experience." They also said that they will have freedom on the advertising side, but that some would be provided by Microsoft as well. That’s interesting.

Yahoo also announced the new version of Yahoo Messenger today with a focus on social networks and video. Read more about that here.

Here’s some more on the new Yahoo Search from the press release:

Demonstrating its commitment to continued innovation in the search experience, Yahoo! is testing a new search results page, aligned with the design of the new Yahoo! homepage and aimed at making Web search more personally relevant. The test, available randomly to millions worldwide, delivers a differentiated search experience that lets people better explore the things, people and websites that matter to them most. New functionality being tested includes:

  • Results Filtering Options – The page provides new tools for refining search results including exploring related concepts, displaying only results from popular Yahoo! and third-party sites, and narrowing results by different types of content such as people, videos and discussion forums.
  • Intelligent Search Results – Enhanced assistance creates a more personally relevant experience that better understands what people are looking for based on prior searches. It is powered by search session science that detects intent by looking at search behavior over time. For example, a search for “Paris” followed by searches for “flights” and “cheap hotels” helps Yahoo! Search understand that someone is seeking travel-related content versus gossip about a Hollywood heiress.
  • Easy Access to Search Controls – The new site provides quick access to Search Scan/SafeSearch, which helps protect users from viruses, spyware and search spam, and Search Pad, the personal research assistant that lets people capture, organize, save and share information they find while researching online.
  • Search Assist Expansion – Yahoo!’s popular real-time query suggestion engine, Search Assist, has been introduced to the search box on every Yahoo! page in the U.S. with the launch of a new universal header. This new header unifies key design and navigation elements, with links to popular Yahoo! destinations such as My Yahoo!, Finance, News, Sports, Mail and the Yahoo! homepage.