Yahoo! challenges Google with Rich Search Assist

Yahoo Rich Assist Screenshot

On Sept 8th 2010, Google launched its Google Instant feature, a modification to the Google Search engine supported by more advanced information referencing systems.Google advertises its “faster than the speed of type” engine by claiming that its new search application saved internet users 2-5 seconds per search, is a more intelligent guide to finding desired information, and gives instant results at the onset of typing.With the new Google Instant Previews, Google hopes to build on its model search engine by allowing the user to see snapshots of web pages by clicking on the magnifying glass near the search space.

Google’s attempt to increase its dominance in the internet industry is not without its answer from Yahoo Inc, who has developed its’ own adaptation to its’ search engine. Yahoo Inc, who has more than 156 million customers worldwide, has developed Yahoo Rich Search Assist, a comprehensive search engine which previews results as the user types. Having constructed an instant version of its search engine five years before Google Inc, Yahoo! seeks to present a more effective and enjoyable search engine experience to users.

Rich Search Assist predicts user preferences by compiling a list of search topics derived from the 20 most common words that appear in the search results after a user has begun typing. The Rich Search Assist is used in conjunction with Yahoo! Search Suggest(suggesting items as you type) added in 2007, to maximize search experience. The search assist is prompted by a pause in the user’s typing, and both lists are displayed.

Even though Yahoo! Inc’s new search assist covers up its ads (as does Google’s), Yahoo may compensate for any revenue loss by attracting new users. According to a study conducted by scientists at the University of California LA in 2008, computer-literate middle aged and older adults had increased brain activity in the temporal, parietal, and occipital areas of the brain, which control decision making and complex reasoning. This was not shown in those who were not familiar with internet searching. 

The already user friendly search engine may attract the older community to become computer literate, purchase computers and perhaps improve their brains as well.The scientists believe that internet searching may help to increase brain function, something that older, computer green persons arent getting because of the difficulty in using the internet. All things considered, Yahoo!’s Rich Search Assist is a formidable response to Google’s Instant Previews. It is now being tested in closed beta phase.

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Dan Petrovic, the managing director of DEJAN, is Australia’s best-known name in the field of search engine optimisation. Dan is a web author, innovator and a highly regarded search industry event speaker.

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