On Oct. 6, Yahoo rolled out search enhancements geared to hold users' attention and boost traffic to the Bing search technology. Microsoft is paying to power Yahoo's user interface.
Microsoft began powering Yahoo search results in full in the United States in August, part of the companies' 10-year agreement to let Bing drive Yahoo search results and ad technology. Microsoft pays Yahoo 88 percent of traffic-acquisition costs.
To fulfill its promise of enriching its user interface to keep users searching in the Website, Yahoo is displaying slide shows of images above standard results, using topics culled from Yahoo's Trending Now lists on Yahoo.com.
This extends Yahoo's Infinite Browse technology to present users with more content so that they needn't navigate away from the Website to find more info.
Yahoo is also now offering multifaceted results in 3D for searches on movies, musical artists, celebrities and news.
Shortcuts organize images, articles, videos, tweets, event listings and ratings content. Moreover, as with Bing's new entertainment section, users can quickly buy tickets for movies and concerts as they search, using Yahoo's overview tab.
Yahoo is also offering a new "quick" Web app to let Netflix members add DVDs to their queue right from Yahoo's search results page. From here, Netflix users may click the app's play button to instantly watch content.
Yahoo's refined Image Search offers slide shows with public photos from Flickr and Yahoo's content sites, along with Facebook photo albums from friends when they connect their Yahoo accounts to Facebook.
Again, all of these features keep users using Yahoo, and ideally for the company, keep them seeing and possibly clicking on more ads.
The new search features began rolling out to Yahoo users in the United States today and will launch in additional global markets next year.
Yahoo is also working to fortify its digital ad assets versus Google, Facebook and others. On Oct. 5, the company purchased contextual display ad startup Dapper, which should help Yahoo's Website publishers tailor ads for their consumers on the fly.