This seems like a valid question considering the lack of activity from Yahoo! lately in search, while Google & Bing continue to innovate.
Well, to answer the question, Yahoo! still is very much committed to search as indicated at its recent SearchSpeak conference.
The event was basically a press conference allowing Yahoo!’s Search Products SVP Shashi Seth to dispel the “misconception” that Yahoo! was no longer investing in search. “Yahoo was in search, is in search and will be in search in the future. That is a stake we have put in the ground.”
What has Yahoo! done lately for search?
Along with the Microsoft deal, Yahoo! released a new version of Yahoo! Search, with less fanfare than if it were Google. The new version includes:
- SearchMonkey structured data which lends to richer results from an increasing number of sites
- Search Scan and Safe Search to help protect users from viruses, spyware and spam
- Search Pad which allows users to takes notes for research as they search
- Query assistance has been indexed in the left-hand column to let users browse concepts related to their queries
If you need further convincing of what Yahoo! has been up-to then check out their video below.
Yahoo! says their focus has now turned to local search. “We’re focused on making it easier to search for local businesses,” says Larry Cornett, Vice President, Consumer Products, Yahoo Search. “Starting in December 2009, we display more Yahoo! local business shortcuts when you search for a business, even if you don’t include your location in your query. We also began providing new functionality directly within the local shortcut to refine results by neighbourhood or nearby city right on the search results page. This further enhances an already great shortcut that provides more of the information you care about most directly on the search results page; including ratings, reviews, photos, and directions.”
I remain sceptical on just how much effort Yahoo! will put into search in the coming months, considering they have quite a beneficial deal with Microsoft, but I am willing to be persuaded.