Yahoo! is testing a new feature on their search engine called ‘Search Assist’ which aims to help users find the most relevant information on each search. The Search Assist technology detects when users are having trouble finding the right search term and offers suggestions to improve their results.
The new Search Assist feature is smarter than Yahoo!’s existing search suggestion tool and brings some interesting new features. Firstly, it only offers help when it thinks the user is having trouble (like when you pause entering a search query). Danny Sullivan from Search Engine Land shows an example below:
“I decide to search for [lego organizer], but I second-guess myself before completing the second word. As I’m pondering, Search Assist decides I need some encouragement. I get further suggestions that suddenly appear”
As you can see from the screenshot above, Search Assist offers two lots of suggestions. In the first column it shows suggestions and extensions relating to the current search term. In the other two columns under “lego +” it shows keywords and searches related to the primary search term entered on the left.
Search Assist uses some intuitive technology to generate these extra search suggestions by scanning the top 20 search results for any given term. By analyzing these pages one by one, it comes up with a list of other terms you might want to try.
Currently Yahoo! Search Assist is only available to selected users as a trial. If your one of the lucky ones, let us know what you think!