Yahoo Inc. introduced a beta version of its Instant Search tool on Thursday, a system that aims to help users find links on specific topics faster.
While the feature is still under development, Yahoo is promising that the system will deliver more relevant answers to users Web queries than it can provide with its traditional search engine. The introduction of Instant Search marks the latest in a string of new features Yahoo has added recently as it fights to win traffic away from segment leader Google Inc., which continues to build out its own array of services.
Instant Search is designed to display results to popular search terms as a user types words into Yahoos site, and offers links to related information directly under its existing search box in the form of clickable shortcuts. For instance, when a user enters the term “NFL” into the site, the page begins to automatically populate itself with links to content related to the National Football League, before the search is ever launched. When there is no shortcut available for a specific term, the site displays the top results for its most popularly searched topics.
Another aspect of the system is that corrects simple spelling mistakes in users queries, as it automatically fixes terms that have been entered into its search box. Instant Search can also be customized to integrate with other Yahoo features, including the companys Web-based e-mail client, news sites and My Web personalization settings.
Over the last several weeks, Yahoo has pushed forward a number of new search tools in an attempt to keep pace with Google, including new features for finding pictures and messages stored within its e-mail system. The company also expanded its search capabilities for people accessing its site via mobile devices.
Google has also continued to introduce new search capabilities, adding a site for finding and sorting posts to Weblogs, or blogs, on Wednesday.