Yahoo has been struggling lately, what with big job cuts, and then the departure of recently appointed CEO Scott Thompson over issues with a “mistake” on his biography detailing his qualifications.
The company has re-organised though, and has plans to move forward, one of which is a fresh innovation called Yahoo Axis.
Essentially, this is a mobile app and desktop browser plug-in which provides a new method of searching the net.
Axis can be downloaded onto your iOS device, or seamlessly integrated with your browser – it’s compatible with IE, Chrome, Firefox and Safari – to provide a search system which offers instant answers and visual search previews.
Shashi Seth, senior vice president, Connections, Yahoo, commented: “Our search strategy is predicated on two core beliefs—one, that people want answers, not links and two, that consumer-facing search is ripe for innovative disruption.”
“With Axis, we have re-defined and re-architected the search and browse experience from the ground up.”
Axis features what Yahoo claims is a sleek design that lets people quickly move forward in their searching, with its visual-centric and predictive search system, rather than constantly returning pages full of “endless blue links”.
It’s also synced across devices, so if you perform a search on your desktop computer, when you’re out and about later, you can sift through those results on your iPhone.
Axis offers a personalised home page, which provides access to favourites, saved articles and bookmarks under a central hub, which can also be signed into using a Google or Facebook login, as well as Yahoo account.
The launch of Axis was somewhat blighted, though. Firstly, someone forgot to put in the terms and conditions – leading to questions about how finished the product really is, given that this is a poor show on the checking front. They’re in now, though, apparently.
More worrying is a security vulnerability which has been widely reported, spotted by blogger Nik Cubrilovic, who recommends the plug-in isn’t installed until this security flaw is addressed.
The future of search is certainly moving away from pages of links, and toward answers, as Google is also trying to develop its search engine to respond more intelligently to queries via a “knowledge graph” system.