Yahoo has been tinkering with its search engine, and the work under the bonnet has resulted in the public beta of Search Direct being launched in the US.
So what’s Search Direct? Yahoo makes it clear on its blog that the service is nothing like Google Instant searching: “So if you were wondering if Search Direct is like Google Instant, the answer is obviously no.”
Except, of course, that it is quite like Google’s instant search, and is clearly a response to the big G’s innovation.
Search Direct does function differently to Google Instant, however, that much is true. As you type in a search query, Yahoo provides the 10 most likely suggested searches, and for each of these, just the top three results as search previews (as opposed to Google which offers the full page of results instantly beneath your half-finished search term).
The theory is that Yahoo is providing three tailored answers that will likely serve you best, as opposed to “regurgitating millions of results in hope that one works for you”.
Search Direct also shows the top trending topics, even before you’ve started typing anything, and these are updated every 10 minutes.
The theory is certainly sound, but of course, exactly how relevant and pertinent the served-up highlighted three answers are will be key to the whole thing.
We’ll get to look at the concept in practice eventually over in the UK, with a roll-out to other markets promised later this year.