Having realised that they cannot compete with Google on the basis of algorithmic quality any more, Yahoo! have adopted a new approach to search – openness. Yahoo! Open Search was officially announced yesterday.
Yahoo! Open Search will allow third party website owners to present more useful information about their site on the search results page. Webmasters will be able to substitute the regular title link and description snippet with all sorts of additional information including images, deeper site links, reviews, ratings, prices, contact details and more.
If the Open Search platform is implemented well, and abuse kept under control, it could take the concept of universal search to an all new level. Webmasters will have more control over their site listings and users will now be able to control what they see in their search results by turning off anything they dislike in Open Search.
A publisher like the New York Times, Yelp, or even a small local website can supply Yahoo! with additional data. The Yahoo! Search algorithm will then present that data to users at the right time.
TechCrunch reports that while the Open Search program will provide third parties the incentive to add images and more links with the aim of driving more traffic to their site, it will not allow them to affect the search rankings in any way.
Vish Makhijani, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Yahoo! Search says “We believe that combining a free, open platform with structured, semantic content from across the Web is a clear win for all parties involved – site owners, Yahoo! and most importantly, our users.”
Yahoo! Open Search is the best piece of news and the most groundbreaking innovation to come out of the beleaguered Internet giant in recent times.