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Search Engine Marketing: Yahoo Updates Web-Search Service

Yahoo recently added features to its web-search service, which will directly impact search engine marketing. This update is meant to reverse long-term losses Yahoo has experienced in market share as well keep up with recent improvements made by Microsoft and Google.

Yahoo said its new “direct search” technology will aim to provide specific answers to queries above traditional search engine results. Yahoo is now selling ads specifically for this new feature, which will appear in a large box that opens near the top of SERP.

Yahoo’s “direct search” technology attempts to combine two aspects of Google’s search engine: “instant” which brings up search engine results even before the user completes his or her query, based on what Google believes the user is looking for, and “universal” search, which displays results with more-substantive information for queries such as sports teams and weather.

Yahoo has rolled out this new feature for 15 categories of queries including news, shopping and sports. This feature is only currently available on Yahoo in the United States but will be available to non-U.S. users later this year.

Yahoo’s direct-search feature will also provide new opportunities for search engine marketing practitioners and advertisers. Yahoo executives recently demonstrated how a search for “Gap” yielded a video advertisement, however these ads are still in the testing phase and are not available to the public yet.

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