Yahoo’s search news shortcuts gain ‘tweets,’ videos, photos

Juan Carlos Perez
20 November, 2009
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Yahoo has enhanced its Web search engine’s news “shortcuts” by adding Twitter posts, photos and videos to them, the company announced Thursday.

News shortcuts are packages of information about a breaking news topic that appear at the top of Yahoo Web search results. In addition to headline links, users will now see new tabs for relevant “tweets,” photos and video clips in these shortcuts.

“This lets the searcher flip though these different types of information to see everything around that topic that’s happening right now,” said Larry Cornett, vice president of consumer products for Yahoo Search.

This enhancement is part of a broader effort by Yahoo to make its search results page more personally relevant to users. “We want to help them find and explore the things that matter most to them,” he said.

This also represents the beginning of Yahoo’s integration of social media content into its Web search experience. “This is just the beginning. We’ll continue to bring more of this fresh and relevant content directly to users on the search page,” Cornett said.

In recent months, Yahoo has been losing search usage share in the U.S. at the expense of Bing, Microsoft’s new search engine, introduced in late May.

Yahoo had a 20.1 percent share of U.S. search queries in May, while Microsoft had 8 percent, according to comScore. As of the end of October, Yahoo’s share had slid to 18 percent, while Microsoft’s had grown to almost 10 percent.

Google, which dominates the market, has kept its share relatively stable. It had 65 percent in May and 65.4 percent in October, according to comScore.

In July, Yahoo and Microsoft announced a deal to make Bing the algorithmic search and “self-serve” paid search platform for Yahoo sites. The deal, which hasn’t been finalised nor obtained regulatory approval yet, also calls for Yahoo to be in charge of selling premium search ads for both companies.

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