Yahoo Boasts Lightning-Fast Search Experience

In this high-speed Internet world, who has time for all that clicking, mousing or scrolling?

Yahoo believes that conducting searches on the Web involves too much of all of these tasks and has unveiled Search Direct, its new faster-than-fast search product, which is clearly an answer to Google Instant. Search Direct search results appear automatically as a user begins to type a query—just below Yahoo’s traditional search box.

A user searching for information on Hong Kong, for example, will see a list of a dozen potential searches, along with the local time, a list of things to do and links to local hotels and flight information—all before they’ve finished typing the word “Hong.” Search Direct also automatically lists popular trending searches below the Yahoo search box.

Besides providing a comparable lightning-fast search experience to match Google Instant, Search Direct is also aimed at swaying users who have taken to Microsoft’s Bing, which bills itself as a “decision engine.” In a press release issued on Wednesday (March 23), the company promised users “no more overwhelming pages of links”—something Bing has emphasized.

“We are redefining the search process and prominently displaying direct answers where search decisions are being made,” Shashi Seth, svp of Yahoo search and marketplaces, said in a statement.
While Search Direct is designed to make search faster, the product potentially keeps users on Yahoo’s homepage for more extended sessions since they don’t have to jump to multiple search result pages and sites. That means Yahoo searchers can potentially be exposed to more search and display ads on that page. For example, shoppers can see product results without leaving the Yahoo search box, creating a prime ad opportunity for retailers.

In addition, the product provides Yahoo Search with some innovation credibility—something Yahoo has taken pains to emphasize ever since the company outsourced its search ad technology to Microsoft in 2009. Last year Yahoo rolled out Y!our Ads, an ad product that takes into account a user’s search history when delivering search ads.