Yahoo Redesigns Search Engine
Shows search results in visual format, mobile search for iOS and Android gets HTML5 richness
Yahoo Rolling Out New “Accordion” Search & Other Features
Yahoo is launching a number of search enhancements this evening that start to deliver on the UI innovation that the company has been promising since the Microsoft search deal was announced. It’s part of Yahoo’s bid to remain relevant in search by spicing up the user experience and trying to bring more utility to page one.
The two biggest changes or enhancements that users will immediately notice involve image search and a new “accordion” module at the top of search results (though it doesn’t always appear).
Do a search for “Toy Story 3″ or “Lady Gaga,” for example, and you’ll see this:
Users can flip through panes that contain different types of information. In the case of Toy Story 3 there are “overview,” “video” and “Twitter” tabs. The content types and number of tabs will vary and be relevant to the query. In the case of Lady Gaga there are additional “events” tabs and “album” tabs. The events tab contains a link to buy tickets. There are also horizontal tabs with related content on top.
Search SVP Shashi Seth told me that there will be more such transactional elements in search results going forward. It doesn’t currently exist but one could easily imagine an embedded OpenTable link tied to a specific restaurant query. And there are other scenarios in which this accordion module could enable actions or transactions. Travel is another category that quickly comes to mind.
I spoke to Seth about the potential appearance of display and rich media advertising in this area of the page. (Earlier today I moderated the SMX East panel on search and display, so it’s on my brain.) He said that isn’t the case at launch but Yahoo has thoughts along those lines in certain commercial contexts.
This module also enables “discovery” of information in a way that traditional search results do not. There’s a mixture of push and pull going on here, which is very interesting. Accordingly it goes beyond the “smart box”/”one box” universal search approach favored in the past couple of years.
Consistent with the notion of making page one more “actionable,” Yahoo is integrating what it calls “quick apps” into search farther down the page. The first of these is a Netflix app that will open a window and enable “Netflix members to add movies to their Queue right from the Search results page.” You could also watch trailers and theoretically stream entire movies in this window.
The philosophy behind all these moves involves taking search “from finding to doing.”
As mentioned, image search is being revamped. Image pages get a new more visually engaging and “immersive” environment. Yahoo is putting more slideshows (from Flickr and other Yahoo sites) in image search results that then lead to pages that look like this:
Beyond this, Yahoo image search will allow people to “view personally meaningful public Facebook albums from friends when they sign-in and connect their Yahoo! accounts to Facebook.”
Finally Yahoo says that iPhone and Android users will see faster and “more sophisticated” search results built on HTML5. The new Yahoo Finance app is an example of this.
This collection of new features and tools rolls out immediately in the US and then globally next year.
Yahoo has been promising UI/UX innovation for many months and these new capabilities represent something of a down payment. However the company says it will continue to do more and go further over the coming months. This “is just the beginning.”
Yahoo has rolled out refreshed search engine favoring news and entertainment related searches for Yahoo U.S. domain. Shashi Seth, senior VP, Yahoo Search & Marketplaces noted, on the official Yahoo Search Blog, that this change is the first in the series of search enhancements. When you visit search.yahoo.com and search for entertainment or news-related topics, you ll get to see a box with vertical text tabs for different options – Videos, Images and Twitter. Yahoo is indeed trying to keep up in the search engine competition.
It is after long that Yahoo has tried something new for its search to clearly differentiated itself from Microsoft Bing. Instead of throwing up a long list of links and text, Yahoo has taken a different approach and shows up an intuitive box. If you search for any term, for instance Scott Pilgrim, you’ll get to see an Overview box that gives you comprehensive information about the movie – Scott Pilgrim vs The world in the box. On the right side of the box, you’ll find images, videos and Twitter menus. Click on either of those menus and it will slide from the right to the left end.
The web search has also been enhanced with HTML5 technology for Apple iOS based iPhone and other devices as well as Google Android devices. The new ‘Trending Now’ list will give you brief information on the heavily talked about topics on the web in form of a slideshow. Similarly, the image search also incorporates a slideshow feature and users can view the slideshow from public Facebook albums as well as Flickr.
Try out the new Yahoo Search on search.yahoo.com. Do you think it’s a worthy enhancement compared to Google Instant?