Even if you do use Yahoo search regularly you might have missed the Yahoo Search Assist feature. To be honest, i had no desire to use Yahoo as a search engine until the recent actions of Google made me change my mind. Ankit, who recently commented on my blog wrote an interesting article about Yahoo Search Assist and I decided to give it a go.
But first, where is it and who does one enable it. Yahoo Search Assist is available after searching for a search term at Yahoo Search. A small down arrow icon is shown beneath your search term on the search results page. If you click that arrow the Yahoo Search Assist box will be shown.
The box has two parts. The left part displays related search terms and the right part, entitled Explore Concepts, which combines related search terms and displays new search results when clicked.
The Explore Concepts suggestions are therefor there to narrow down the search results. This works only once. If you click on any of the suggestions the search results will be updated but the initial search term will still be what you have entered in the search box. Another click on any of the suggested terms will change the search results again, this time with a combined search of the term that you typed into the search box and the second suggestion that you clicked on.
This is an interesting concept which does need some tweaking however. What I personally would prefer to see would be a way to customize those 'Explore Concept' items or add another part that offers some search terms that are usually connected.
As an example, if someone would enter Microsoft Windows XP that third box would display information such as 'purchase', 'troubleshoot', 'install' and 'activate' for instance. For Britney Spears it would be 'songs', 'albums', 'lyrics' and 'gossip' among others.
This would help a lot of users who have troubles narrowing down their searches.
My conclusion would be that Yahoo Search Assist offers some interesting new ideas that are more likely to help inexperienced users than experienced ones. I like the fact that you can narrow down the search results without tampering with the initial search term.
Another nice feature would be to be able to save those results, use different suggestions, compare the results and filter dupes and stuff like that. I would not go as far and say that Search goes Intelligent as Ankit suggested with his articles topic but it is definitely a step in the right direction.
Users want more options and that is what Yahoo finally discovered.
Yahoo Search Assist, Search goes intelligent
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.