Yahoo Search Pad Promises Faster Searches

Web portal's new online tool is designed to automatically detect research and save results.
Yahoo on Tuesday rolled out a new search engine tool that, like Microsoft's Bing, is designed to deliver a search experience that goes beyond simple query results and paid listings.

Yahoo's new Search Pad feature, still in beta testing, gives users a platform on which they can create notes based on their search results, share the information with friends, family, or business associates, and save the results for future use.

"At Yahoo Search we are committed to understanding people's intent and building the right tools to help them complete their most important tasks online," said Larry Cornett, VP for consumer products at Yahoo Search, in a statement.

"With Search Pad, Yahoo is providing an elegant solution that understands when valuable research is being conducted and offers a way to effortlessly gather information in one place. Yahoo Search helps people make decisions, save their work, and share their best with friends and colleagues," said Cornett.

Yahoo Search is supposedly able to distinguish between random searches and searches that are part of a research project. When it detects research, it activates by adding notepad icons to the top right of the user's screen. Users activate the Search Pad tools by clicking on the icons.

Yahoo said it planned to introduce the service Tuesday in a number of countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, France, and Spain.

Search Pad appears to be the latest effort to unseat Google as the king of online search by creating a richer search experiences. Microsoft last month rolled out Bing, which it has labeled a "decision-engine."

Microsoft claims that, unlike Google, Bing delivers results upon which users can immediately take action. For instance, a search on "hotels in San Francisco" would yield a list of vacancies and rates, and allow the user to book a room in just a few clicks without leaving Bing.

But both Microsoft and Yahoo—which in recent months have mulled various forms of search partnerships—have their work cut out. Google presently controls about 65% of the U.S. search market, while Microsoft owns only about 8% of the market, according to ComScore.

Yahoo, the number two player, held 20% of the market, as of May.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of the next-generation Web applications. Download the report here (registration required).

Editor's Choice
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author
Shane Snider, Senior Writer, InformationWeek
Sara Peters, Editor-in-Chief, InformationWeek / Network Computing
Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor
John Edwards, Technology Journalist & Author