New yahoo search delivers smarter results

Tom Spring details what is to love and hate about the new tools.

Yahoo released new search tools yesterday hoping to give Web searchers a leg up on finding what they want fast. I've been kicking the tires of the new Yahoo features and find there is both a lot to love and dislike. The tools include Search Assistant, Shortcuts, and enhanced search results that allow you to play found multimedia content directly from within search results.

Search Assistant

The addition of Yahoo's Search Assistant is one of the best new features added today. Search Assistant is hard to miss. Just start typing a search query into Yahoo and Search Assistant gets to work.

Search Assistant drops down menu as you type your query into Yahoo. On the left-hand side of the menu are suggested words related to your query and on the right-hand side of the Search Assistant drop-down box are related concepts. For example a search for "Dave Matthews Band" suggests the word "Dave Matthews Band Tickets" and on the right the concept "summer tour" and "concerts" is suggested.

Search Assistant is helpful for on-the-fly refinement of search.

Enhanced Shortcuts

Yahoo has had what it calls Shortcuts for some time now. Shortcuts are packaged content that appears alongside regular search results. Up until today Shortcuts have been made up of static information related to searches. But now Shortcuts include multimedia content.

Say you're searching for information on your favorite band, Yahoo Shortcuts now serves up music clips and full length videos that can be played and watched directly from within search results. Shortcuts also nicely package other related links to content for music searches like links to albums, lyrics, and photos.

What's not to love about this feature?

What I didn't like about Shortcuts were that the modules I ran across only included Yahoo multimedia content. For example I searched for Dave Matthews Band and the bulk of the Shortcut content linked back to Yahoo. The only link to an outside site was to the official Dave Matthews Band Website.

I found the same Yahoo-centric search results delivered by Shorcuts when I punched in a query for "Boston vacations". This query delivered regular search results from the Web, but the Shortcut module only included links to Yahoo Travel. A search for the movie The Heartbreak Kid linked only to Yahoo Movies.

This Yahoo-centric tendency may be helpful and appreciated by some, but I prefer search results less fettered by the self interests of the search engine I'm using. The downside is also, Shortcut query results seem to be only as good as what Yahoo has to offer.

Integrated Multimedia in Search

Yahoo improves search results now by allowing you to watch and listen to multimedia content found on the Web from directly inside the Yahoo search results page. Say you are searching for videos of the comedian Eddie Murphy, what you will find in the results are thumbnail images of the videos Yahoo found. Click on the thumbnail and the video starts playing within the Yahoo search results page.

This is a nifty feature when it worked. But in my limited testing Yahoo was only able to deliver a small number of video clips when I feel search queries should of produced loads of video clips.

Currently Yahoo is the number two search destination behind Google. These new features are good bait to win back Yahoo users who may have defected to Google. For me the bright spot in Yahoo's announcement today is Search Assistant. As far as enhanced Shortcuts, I can do without them if the predominant content offered is only from Yahoo.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Spring

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?