This afternoon, Yahoo! announced the introduction of Search Direct, a search feature which will cause both fast, algorithmically test-driven completions of partly typed search terms and links to relevant articles to appear in the main search box across Yahoo!. In its press conference today, Yahoo! took a few direct shots at its competitor Google, whose Google Instant is arguably a lot better-known, claiming that its service is not only faster, but delivers “answers” instead of links.”
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.”
Giz argues that the new search function is a lot worse than Google’s, in that it forces users to navigate content within a little box and also foists trending queries upon everyone, which by definition are less personalized.
If you would deign to use Yahoo! in the first place, does this seem useful?
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