Search engine Yahoo has launched a new tool for users searching online called Y!Q. Similar to existing "related links" options, the tool offers users pages of a similar context to the one the user is viewing. The service is already in operation on Yahoo! News, with examples of stories on George Bush linking to sites on the American president.
Yahoo is offering the service for Internet Explorer users (download) and Firefox users (download), letting them do contextual searches without going to Yahoo. Yahoo is also offering code to allow webmasters to embed Y!Q in their pages.
Yahoo's new tool is another option for searchers who are becoming startlingly similar to gleeful children receive far too many gifts at Christmas. Yahoo's most recent financial report noted that ad revenues from searches were proving more profitable and important. It, like the other search companies, wants more users and wants them keep on coming back; the problem is a complex one.
It's difficult to have a system that gains strong user loyalty on search engines; the most successful so far has been Google's simple and effective search results. Google still maintains its 60% market share and is by far the largest of a growing pack. Google today moved their local search tool to the front page of the site; although still only in beta form, the tool has proved successful and effective at return accurate results. As if to do one better, Amazon's version of local search on A9.com adds pictures of shop fronts and streets. Expect more presents from the search companies soon.
View: Yahoo Blog