Yahoo Sharpens Its Search Capabilities

As we reported on Tuesday's Redmond Report, Yahoo -- on the heels of Microsoft updating its search capabilities last week -- recently spruced up its Internet search service in hopes of luring users away from Google as well as matching Redmond punch for punch.

Yahoo and Microsoft both are consistently looking for new ways to bring Google back to the pack, something neither one has been able to do in any large measure.

One of the more interesting new Yahoo search features is a drop-down menu that suggests related information for specific search topics. On a Yahoo blog, company executive Tim Mayer wrote that some of the new search enhancements are intended to offer assistance to users only when they ask for it. This, he wrote, should distinguish Yahoo's search from other services that provide automatic help.

As part of the announcement, Yahoo officials quoted results from a Harris Interactive study that showed that while 99 percent of adults online use a search engine, only 15 percent find what they need on the first try. The study said that to be successful, most searches need to be carried out three or four times.

Some analysts weren't overly impressed with the announcements. Jim Friedland, an analyst with Cowen and Company, said Yahoo is a company that's "following faster, not innovating." He wrote that many of the newer features of the service are already available from Google. He added that he expects Google will eventually achieve a worldwide search market share of "at least 90 percent."

Posted by Ed Scannell on 10/04/2007 at 1:23 PM


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