Yahoo! has undergone several changes in the last few years to tide over the rough patch that they are going through. They have recently added some new features to their search platform.
The scientific team at Yahoo! has been working on providing a new technology to the search engine. They are aiming to be able to provide answers to queries on their search engine, rather than just providing links.
This new technology will allow the search engine to anticipate the requirements of the user, who is conducting a search operation. The new algorithm will help the engine to find out what it is the user is really interested in. This will be done by continuously monitoring how that user engages with the search results provided.
The system will keep updating itself to provide the most relevant search results. Results that were at the top of the page in the morning may be pushed lower down later in the day, and results that held a lower position may be shifted upwards, depending on user behaviour and what content is most relevant.
For now, these changes have been introduced only for queries related to news and movies. They intend to introduce similar innovations for other categories such as shopping, local, travel and mobile searches in future.
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While this is indeed a good move, it has come very late in the day. Search giant Google introduced similar features on their search engine almost three years ago. In March 2009, Ori Allon from Google had said, “We’re deploying a new technology that can better understand associations and concepts related to your search,”
At that time itself, Google had changed from traditional keyword searches to ‘semantic search’, which goes beyond just matching keywords, to actually understanding the meaning of a sentence or a combination of words. Later that very year, in December, they started integrating News search results into the organic Web search results pages.
Considering this fact, one wonders how much the new innovations at Yahoo! will be able to help the beleaguered company.