Yahoo! grabbed the attention of the marketing industry earlier this week when the company announced the debut of Yahoo! Search Direct. Yahoo! Search Direct is similar to Google Instant, where “suggestions” pop up as the user is typing in their search query. Yahoo! announced that “[w]ith Search Direct, Yahoo! content is combined with information from the Web to provide rich answers, not just links, and to give people the option to immediately engage or continue to a traditional search results page.”
In order to not look like a copycat program, Search Direct has a few key features that set it apart from Google Instant.
First off, before a user even begins to type in their search keywords, Search Direct provides them with the top ten trending searches. These results are updated every ten minutes to keep the trends fresh and relevant.
Similar to Google Instant, Search Direct predicts your search query as you type, and offers you suggestions that would finish your search for you. However, unlike Google Instant, when you scroll over the available options, the most relevant links for that search query pop up alongside the search box. Users don’t have to leave the search bar to find the information they are looking for.
Depending on your search (weather, phone numbers, addresses, etc), Search Direct will pull the answer directly into the search box, so users don’t have to click over to a results page.
Search Direct is still in its infancy, so it doesn’t work for every search. Typing in Brick Marketing, for instance, doesn’t yield any results in the search box apart from a few local business profiles. Most users are still going to have to click over to the full results page to find the information they are looking for, but the potential for Search Direct to provide all the information you need without a results page is definitely there.
When Google launched Google Instant, many SEO professionals worried what kind of effect it would have on SEO. Do you think Search Direct has the ability to change the way we search? Is it enough to take on Google? Yesterday, Mashable had an article that shared research done by eMarketer, stating that “Yahoo’s percentage of the search ad revenue pie will fall to 8.1% this year compared with 10.4% in 2010.” Is Search Direct enough to keep Yahoo! relevant?
Let me know what you think about Yahoo! Search Direct by leaving a comment below.