Yahoo announced today that they are launching a new service called Search Direct. When you perform an internet search, Yahoo’s new service will instantly display results as you type. We’ve all seen this before, because Google was the first to incorporate this feature back in September; known as Google Instant. When Yahoo was questioned about the similarity, they stated “We’re focused on providing answers, not links.”
Yahoo Search Direct works very differently than Google Instant in terms of displaying results. Rather than using the normal results list, there is a smaller box directly below the search bar. You’ll see a list of suggested searches, and your “direct” results will show up in the new box. If you search for something such as the weather, instead of a link to a website you’ll see instant weather results.
The new Yahoo Search Direct is already publicly available for testing, but it isn’t yet incorporated into their regular search function yet. From what we’ve seen while testing it out, we aren’t impressed – but it is still early in the development. Many of the search queries have “no suggestions available,” and the ones that do link to useless content farms like eHow or Answers.com. Yahoo has said that the Search Direct feature is still working with a very small database in contrast to their normal search, and a limited number of search categories. Yahoo plans to expand the service, so we’ll have to wait it out to see if it ever becomes useful.