Is Yahoo “the Future of Search”?

Yahoo increasingly seems like the past of search, but they are hoping to turn this image around with the launch of Search Direct. Touted as the “future of search” by Yahoo, Search Direct brings instant search and instant answers together. Shashi Seth, vice president for search at Yahoo, said of the innovation, “I want you to remember three words: ‘answers, not links.’ ” How will this look
for the searcher?

What does Search Direct bring to the table? It is not a clone of Google Instant. This new search trick has a user-friendly, interesting interface. When you go to the search box, you can instantly see the latest trending topics, before you start typing. As you type, you will see results and instant answers. An example: if you typed in “Hong Kong,” as Yahoo’s video demonstrates, you will see information on the best attractions, links to hotels, flights, and restaurant guides. You will also see images, maps, and search suggestions all within the search box.

In addition, you can see “answers” for 15 different categories, including movies, athletes, music, weather, shopping, local, stocks, and more. Comparison shopping is easy, too; while Google does offer this feature, it is on a different page than the homepage. With Yahoo, you type in your query, such as “mp3 player,” and you instantly see shopping results, with ratings, prices, and other info.

As to comparisons to Google Instant, Yahoo says, “They’re very different products. We’re focused on providing answers, not links. Google Instant is focused on providing more links, faster. Not answers.”

While it remains to be seen if Yahoo is, indeed, the future of search, at least it is looking alive. According to Wired, “We may just be seeing a revitalized Yahoo that is actually a tech company once again, despite its recent financial woes and layoffs.”

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