Yahoo Goes Live With New Search Format

Yahoo has now gone live with its new search format. There’s nothing radical or “game changing.” However, there are some nice upgrades and improvements. Most prominently, it features a new left column that allows users to filter results by Search Monkey content providers or refine by related concepts. It also features more prominent placement for Search Pad and an expansion of Search Assist. Yahoo says it has also improved image and video search and says speed and performance are better across the board.

Yahoo previewed these new features previously and Danny discussed them at some length in an earlier post. These changes are now in effect in the US, UK, France, Spain, Mexico, and India and will roll out more broadly to other markets in the near future. Overall there’s more visual appeal to the new format and the Search Monkey refinements are useful in most cases.

Below is an example search for London. Shortcuts remain at the top of results, now the center column:

Picture 123

If we click the “Yahoo Travel” filter in the left column, we get the following results without entering a new query:

Picture 124

Further down in the left column you can also refine by “weather” (not a Search Monkey filter, but a related “Search Assist” concept):

Picture 125

Search Assist continues to be a prominent feature of the overall search experience. And Search Pad gets more visibility:

Picture 129

The newly launched search format generally mirrors the new Yahoo homepage with its brand-centric left column:

Picture 127

With this new look and feel Yahoo Search moves somewhat closer to Bing, ironically. Bing has seen its market share slowly creep up and is probably a greater threat to its partner Yahoo than it is to Google.

In the relatively near future the actual results on Bing and Yahoo will be the same (assuming regulatory approval of the deal). Thus Yahoo will continue to need to make changes and upgrades to the interface and overall user experience to prevent a loss of usage and market share.

Picture 128

I haven’t systematically tested Yahoo’s new search against Google and Bing. However I generally like the new appearance as well as the Search Monkey features.

One thing that Yahoo should consider is a personalized left nav/column (a la the new home page) where users can select favorite Search Monkey filters (e.g., Yelp for local, Kayak for travel). Indeed, the more prominent appearance of Search Monkey in the new Yahoo Search may encourage more sites and publishers to participate in the program.

We hope that these changes are part of an ongoing series of upgrades to Yahoo Search, although many continue to believe that with the outsourcing of its back end and index to Microsoft, and exodus of key search engineers, that Yahoo has effectively given up on search. New Yahoo CMO Elisa Steele tried briefly to rebut that idea in her IAB MIXX keynote speech announcing the new Yahoo branding campaign.

Here’s more on the new search changes from the Yahoo Search Blog.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Microsoft: Bing | Top News | Yahoo: Search | Yahoo: Search Monkey | Yahoo: User Interface


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • WillC

    I agree that it does look a lot better now, and the minor changes are certainly welcome. These are changes that everyone else has made already for the most part so I suppose it was long overdue for Yahoo. If Yahoo had indeed given up on search, I’m not sure why they would bother going through with the changes. This leads me to believe that they think they have something up their sleeve to contribute to the search race.
    We still can’t be 100 percent sure that this deal with Microsoft will go through, so Yahoo does need to have a plan B as far as maintaining a big big part of its huge brand. Like it was pointed out in this piece though, these changes aren’t ground breaking. So should we even care that these moves are being made? I’m anxious to see what moves Yahoo makes now, just as I am with Microsoft to see where Bing goes in the next year.
    Feel free to check out if you are interested in observing some of the lesser-known engines out there. It’s a very interesting time for search right now, so it’s a good time to see what all is out there.

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