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Yahoo’s Openness To Search

The Right Step to Get Back in the Game?

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Yahoo announced that they have integrated a couple of applications from their SearchMonkey project into everyday search results for users of the Yahoo search engine. The two integrated apps are from Citysearch and Zagat, which Yahoo intends to use for improved local search results along with Yelp and its own Yahoo Local results.

Citysearch Results on Yahoo

SearchMonkey is Yahoo Search’s open platform, which allows developers and site owners to make results more useful and relevant on a personalized basis. Developers can build their apps with SearchMonkey, then use it themselves and/or share them with others, but they typically have to be turned on by users. That’s the significance of this news. Yahoo has deemed these apps worthy of improving their own search results and has implemented them on their own for all Yahoo Search users to enjoy.

It is not unlike what Google does, except that these apps are coming from third parties. "While Google tends to integrate data from its own products like Google Finance, Images, or Maps into its search results, Yahoo is staying true to its promise of ‘open search,’" says Frederic Lardinois at Read Write Web. "Yahoo started to integrate SearchMonkey results in June, but back then, users still had to enable them one by one. Now, Yahoo is starting to surface more results from trusted SearchMonkey apps in its standard results."

Yahoo also gave a shout out to some other apps on display at the Yahoo Search Gallery (where users can browse SearchMonkey-based projects), such as Infobar for TV.com, and Infobar for Food Network. "We’re pleased with all of the new apps that have been developed and we’re looking forward to what new ideas and innovations the development community will come up with," says a post on the Yahoo Search Blog from the SearchMonkey Team.

I think Yahoo’s attempts to open up the search experience are very interesting and have the potential to keep them in the game, but they are so far behind Google in terms of market share right now, it’s going to be hard to play catch-up. I’d say this is a step in the right direction either way.

Implementing SearchMonkey features on their own for wide use by the average Yahoo user shows that they’re willing to do so with good apps. This should provide developers with encouragement for building more creative and useful ones now that they know it’s possible to get them to become part of normal Yahoo search results. And the more inventive and creative ways to bring relevancy to results that are created, the more reasons there will be to use the search engine. They’ve still got some hurdles to jump though. Do you think this is a significant step for Yahoo?

Yahoo’s Openness To Search


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  • http://car2be.com/ Anderson Thomas

    Having said that, please throw some serious marketing behind this. Y! does a very sloppy job of letting users know the cool things it does and your competitor in the mean time gets truck loads of free press from not-so-knowledgeable individuals.

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