Yahoo: We’re Ready for a Search Fight

    September 23, 2011
    Chris Crum

Yahoo wants you to know that it still takes search seriously. Every so often, they feel the need to remind everyone.

Today, Ethan Batraski, Director of User Intent & Experiences at Yahoo Search put up a blog post talking about how Yahoo is going to continue to fight in search, and how some of its product experiences are “so radically different, you’ll sit back in your seat thinking, ‘what the &$%# just happened?'”

He also provided three bullet points of “what search looks like” to Yahoo over the next 18 months:

  • From destination to companion: Access and convenience are two key components in the search game. In the next 18 months, Search will be a companion experience that gives you answers immediately and instantly without leaving the page you are on – effortlessly.
  • From fragmented to seamless: Consistency and simplicity are two key components in the search game. Users are increasingly searching on multiple devices. In the next 18 months, your devices and platforms will be seamlessly connected, allowing you to start an experience on one device and continue effortlessly onto another, with simple access to any information on any other devices. Search will be evolving into a beautiful and consistent multi-modal experience that simply integrates into your everyday life.
  • From more information to better information: Relevancy and depth are two key components in the search game. When you search for something — say, Adirondack chairs — do you really care that we returned 9,150,000 results? Probably not. In the next 18 months, Search will focus on a deep experience that gives you only what you want to know, taking into account your search history, click behavior, demographics, social graph, and browsing history to provide you with a 1:1 experience. It will tell you why it served you the results it did and allow you to pivot on a number of aspects to further tune the page. It will no longer be a search engine designed for the masses, it will be a search engine tailored just for you. Some call it a results page; I call it an intent satisfaction experience.

Can Yahoo win a substantial share of the search market back from Google? Tell us what you think.