In a bid to stay competitive with Google and Microsoft in the search arena, Yahoo will begin bucket-testing a new intelligent Search feature, known as Search Pad, that lets users capture, manage and share information they collect in the course of their online research. Yahoo is still testing the service, which will be introduced to a random percentage of live traffic starting Feb. 3 before being expanded at some future date.
has started bucket-testing a new Yahoo Search feature designed to let users
manage the information they gather while researching online.
Upgrading its search has been a key part of Yahoo's rebuilding strategy. In
May 2008, the company released SearchMonkey, an
open developer platform that lets developers create applications that enhance
For enterprise users involved in the sort of in-depth research that requires
note-taking and the recording of URLs, the traditional fallback has been to
open a Word document or keep track of Internet travels on a Post-It note or
piece of paper.
Now, when Yahoo users utilize Search Pad, a separate browser window opens with
a blank "pad" onto which users can either copy and paste or retype information.
If the user copies information from a search-engine site such as Amazon.com or
WebMD.com, Search Pad will auto-attribute the selection and post the URL.
For images on how Search Pad works, click here.
"We recognize that a lot of enterprise users will get the benefit out of
it," Tom Chi, senior director of product management for Yahoo, said in an
interview. "With businesses, people need to do Web research fairly often."
To better organize notes, individual pieces of information can be dragged
around on the pad. Yahoo members can store their searches and return to them,
but the first version of Search Pad does not allow users to place their notes
on their desktop.
With internal testing having been conducted over the past several months,
Yahoo feels confident enough to start its first public external testing, with
the service now available to a random percentage of life traffic. Search Pad
will automatically detect when a user is doing broad research, based on their
search patterns, and offer a tiny icon to activate the notepad.
Based on the results from the initial test, a fuller version will roll out
at a to-be-determined date; once that happens, Search Pad will also be
available as a tool docked in a corner of the search screen.