By Harry McCracken | Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 1:43 pm
Last month, I groused about the fact that Ask.com had rolled out a redesign that did away with its clever melding of Web search results, images, news, video, and more on one page. Today, after a trial run in India, Yahoo rolled out a new service called Yahoo Glue. And I’m pleased to report that it’s an awful lot like the Ask.com I missed.
Do a search, and you get a page with filled with modules dedicated to news, images, YouTube videos, Yahoo Answers, Google (sic!) Blog Search, Wikipedia data, and more. The results you get are based in part on the sort of topic you searched for: For instance, when I searched for “Paris,” content from Lonely Planet and Panoramio images of the city were near the top.
Can I pick a few nits, though?
–Oddly enough, the one thing that Glue doesn’t include are plain ol’ Web search results, from Yahoo or anybody else. This is a separate service from search, but I’d much rather get at least a few search results as part of the package. (With Ask.com, the integrated pages were simply Ask’s primary search interface, so you always got search results.)
–Glue sometimes throws in modules only vaguely related to the subject at hand–for instance, when I searched for “Rutherford B. Hayes,” I got a module of Memeorandum links to stories about current politics.
–There weren’t Glue pages at all for some of my searches, such as “Columbia University.” In those situations, Glue offers to give you results from Yahoo Search. (Ask.com’s approach was more sophisticated–it gave you a few modules or a lot of them, but it always gave you something.)
Like Ask.com’s old format, Glue competes with Google’s Universal Search feature, which weaves results of different types into standard search results rather than breaking them out into modules. I like that approach, too. But I’m glad to have Glue, and hope that Yahoo gives it enough love that it grows and gets better with time. If you check it out, lemme know what you think.