Yahoo! Image Search Mining User Search Data

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Yahoo! Image Search Mining User Search Data

Yahoo! Multimedia Search have added an interesting new feature to their Image Search product. This new feature comes in the form of an “explorer bar” at the bottom of the search results that provides alternative searches based on queries entered by other users who searched for the same keyword.

A search for Spiderman on Yahoo! shows regular image search results, followed by a differently coloured box on the bottom of the search results page, that says “Others who searched for spiderman also searched for:”. This can be seen in the screenshot below:

Suggested Image Searches on Yahoo!

Just like Google, Yahoo! also stores user search query data and mines it to improve search results quality for their users. Personal search information on Yahoo! can be accessed via signing into a My Yahoo! account, where users can view their list of favourite searches.

Media attention has focussed mainly on Google and their potential exploitation of users’ private information for personalisation of search results. Features such as the suggested search explorer bar could draw some scrutiny towards Yahoo! as well. However, the sheer number of searches on Google outweighs that on Yahoo! enough to allow Yahoo! to take many more liberties with how they use a personals private search data.

Explorer bar is currently enabled for entertainment and location-related searches in the USA. Yahoo! plan to expand availability of this feature to further categories in the near future. This improvement was launched alongside the integration of Flickr results into regular Yahoo! Image Search results.