Under the right circumstances, search engines can turn the names of a person’s city and state into ugly words; users looking for local info may have to type them over and over until they wish the founders had stuck to just two or three letters. New Yahoo search suggestions aim to eliminate that problem, though.
Product Manager Vivian Lin Dufour wrote on the Yahoo Search Blog this morning, "We’re making Search more intuitive by taking user context and applying it to the search experience. Today we are introducing an enhanced Yahoo! Search Assist, providing suggestions geographically closer to you as you type your query."
You can see an example of how this works below. The first image shows what search suggestions a Yahoo user in Sunnyvale, California (which is in Santa Clara County) would get after typing "santa." The second image shows how they’d differ for an individual located in Santa Barbara.
This should save people some typing, and in the process, also tends to make Yahoo’s results look much more useful.
The upgrade shouldn’t cross any sort of "creepy" line, either, since Yahoo doesn’t seem to be interested in pinning down users’ exact addresses or anything like that.
Anyway, Dufour invited everyone, "Give this new feature a try and let us know what you think about geo-sensitive search suggestions in the comments section . . ."