Yahoo releases a refinement tool for Yahoo Image Search, a tool that helps users virtually tour destinations, such as countries and states, without leaving their starting point for search results. The search engine improvement, with the specter of Microsoft's Bing in the background, makes Yahoo a strong choice over Google Image Search.
Yahoo July 24 introduced some improvements to its Yahoo Image Search engine
that will help users more easily search pictures to plan vacations and trips to
A new travel image search refiner mechanism allows users to search a state
or country, and peruse pictures of destinations in that geographical area
without leaving the original search results page. The feature has to be tested
to be understood.
For example, a search on California
returns images of Yosemite
National Park, Golden
Gate Bridge, Alcatraz
and the Disneyland Resort. By clicking on the Disneyland
option, users will see an overlay of images so they can virtually tour image
results without leaving the starting point of their search results.
Image result choices appear in a left-hand rail. Click on any of the
destination choices, and the images will fill the right section of the page.
Users can move from Disneyland results to Golden
Gate Bridge to Yosemite
to Alcatraz simply by clicking those selections in the
Yahoo's Image Search programmers have made it much easier so users don't
have to frequently type in new results to refine location searches.
"With the new travel image refiner, we are continuing our focus on
satisfying user intent through a deeper understanding of the Web and presenting
related objects from the real world," Yahoo's Image Search team wrote in a blog post
"The travel image refiner taps into this 'Web of Objects' and lets you
explore these popular points of interest, giving you more contextual
information about your destination."
The Yahoo Image Search refiner is currently available for location-specific
searches, but Yahoo plans to expand this capability to other types of image
searches as well.
Such a convenience lends a small boost to Yahoo, which is looking to trump Google
in image search. In the midst of summer, many
users are searching the Web for pictures to get a better handle on what
vacation and sight-seeing spots might have in store for them. By making it
easier, Yahoo has potentially given itself some leverage over Google, whose own
image search results are less efficient.
For example, when users go to Google Image Search and type in California
, they will get some of the same destination
image results, including the Golden Gate
Bridge. However, when users want to
navigate among these images, they are taken to separate pages and have to keep
clicking the back arrow button to navigate among the destination pictures.
Google's Image Search, while accurate, is unwieldy compared with Yahoo's new
refined Image Search. The distinction is a small victory for Yahoo, which is
trying to boost its 19.5 percent search market share at the expense of Google's
65 percent plot.
Further complicating competition for Yahoo is Microsoft's Bing
search engine, which has helped the company
grow search share to 8.4 percent. However, rumors abound
that Yahoo and Microsoft may be partnering on
This is something that won't likely help Yahoo win more market share, but it
could pad the company's pockets if Microsoft starts serving ads on Yahoo's