Yahoo just rolled out its answer to Google Instant. But instead of a bunch of links, Yahoo says it’s delivering “answers.”
Yahoo says search is still very important for the company, and it believes the general public is ready for a new user experience. We’re not so sure. It seems like people really enjoy the plain look of Google.
Here’s the live notes we took as Yahoo explained its new search style. Below the notes is Yahoo’s press release:
1:08: Blake, “we’re a premier digital company, and we’re not confused about that.”
1:09: “All about personal experiences with vast quantities of data…”
Blake is just running through the basics of Yahoo.
He says we’re here to talk about search specifically. “Engaging and delighting,” it’s about getting things to you immediately. Get immersive experiences immediately.
1:11: It’s about making the search results more personal. And it’s not about just getting Facebook friends recommendations.
1:13: Yahoois still in the search game, “Search matters,” it’s still incredibly important to us. We have partnership with MSFT, they do back end and we do the user expereience. We’re a company thinking about engaging and delighting our users. Sashi talking now …
1:14: We are totally changing the landscpae of search. For past few years search hasn’t changed a lot for the user. I think the time has come where the confluence of what users are asking for is all coming together and we’re positioned to take advantage of that.
1:16: Just did a demo. It is live now, test it here.
1:18: Sashi is bragging about how fast it is. He says coverage will increase, they will make this product better. It’s still a beta.
1:19: Now they’re demoing the weather.
1:21: Sashi calls it the “next generation of search.” Now he’s showing how ads can be integrated. You could do branding, or other things right in the new search box they’ve built. Imagine a video says Sashi. (It will have to be pretty darn fast to work. And it could feel intrusive.)
1:23: In long run it could be a part of the ad buy across Yahoo and Bing.
1:26: This is different than Google Instant because this is about ANSWERS not LINKS. And it’s faster says Sashi.
1:27: We are the premier digital media company in the world. Number 1 in 13 companies. We have the content, time to think about surfacing that data.
Blake: We have a lot of data so we can personalise results.
1:28: We think this will be different for different devices. We’ll design specifically for phone or tablet.
Here’s the release on what they’re talking about:
Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO), the premier digital media company, today announced Search Direct, which delivers answers and direct access to websites before you complete a query, hit the search button, or go to a search results page. This search innovation supports Yahoo!’s strategy to fundamentally shift the way people experience the Web – by providing the richest, most integrated content faster and more efficiently.
This new feature, currently in beta, taps into Yahoo!’s unique opportunity to combine content and structured data and to provide a rich search experience. Search Direct predicts search results as fast as a person types, character by character, and presents those results dynamically, generating a fast, simple search experience that goes beyond a list of blue links. Search Direct rolls out in a public beta to Yahoo! users across the U.S. today, and will be available in other Yahoo! products and markets later this year.
“With today’s launch, direct answers – not the search results page – is the primary focus. We are redefining the search process and prominently displaying direct answers where search decisions are being made,” said Shashi Seth, senior vice president, Yahoo! Search and Marketplaces. “Search Direct is evidence of Yahoo! continuing to lead innovation in search, enabling people to take action faster, find what is most important, and sample what is possible with the next stage of search technology.”
With Search Direct, Yahoo! content is combined with information from the Web to provide rich answers, not just links, and to give people the option to immediately engage or continue to a traditional search results page. In this beta release, coverage includes top trending searches, movies, TV, sports teams and players, weather, local, travel, stocks, and shopping categories now available at search.yahoo.com.
· Trending Searches – The moment the cursor hits the search box, top search trends appear and are updated every 10 minutes to display the latest and greatest search trends.
· Search Previews – Search Direct predicts the search term as you type, providing the 10 most likely searches. You can then easily scan each option to see the related top results and find the best match for your needs.
· Direct Answers – For many common searches, Search Direct provides instant answers before you click the Search button. Find an address or phone number, a three-day weather forecast, financial stock performance, the top trending stories at Yahoo! News, or when and where a movie is playing – all without going to a results page.
· Direct Results – When you scan the search options and find the site you need, Search Direct provides exactly that – direct access to the site. No more overwhelming pages of links.
· Rich Content – For all top searches about sports, top news stories, and finance, Search Direct displays rich content that only the world’s largest digital media company can provide. For example, type “n” to get the Yahoo! News display, which always shows the top two trending stories.
Yahoo! will continue to enhance and update Search Direct with new content, such as popular music and local listings. For more information and a demo video of Search Direct from Yahoo!, visit search.yahoo.com and our company blog, Yodel Anecdotal.