Yahoo Goes for Instant Results With Search Direct

By  |  Wednesday, March 23, 2011 at 3:49 pm

I’m not a huge fan of Google Instant, mainly because it seems more gimmicky than anything. Well, Yahoo’s jumping on the instantaneous results bandwagon, debuting a product called Yahoo Search Direct. Like Instant, it will instantly cull its (or should we say Bing’s) database for results. There’s a difference here however, and Yahoo might actually be on to something.

Go to and try it out. For example, type in the query “philadelphia weather.” Once Search Direct figures out that is what you are looking for, a brief summary for the forecast appears next to the suggested terms. It works for other types of queries, such as “LeBron James”. Entering his name pops up his current season stats.

Yahoo’s effort here is to match its users with “answers, not links,” kind of like an Ask Jeeves on steroids. There might be a chance depending on what you’re looking for that you would never have to leave Yahoo’s site.

Google is doing something similar at times with Instant, but at least in my use it seems Yahoo’s a little quicker on the draw. Right now about 15 different types of searches will give those instant results — weather, sports, music, and news are just some — but Yahoo says this eventually could span hundreds of categories.

The company will also monetize the feature by allowing for advertisers to embed an ad for select queries. For example, searchers for “Target” could be presented with the current video advertisement in that pane much like the weather forecast or sports statistics appear.

Go ahead and try it. Do you think it’s better than Instant? Let us know in the comments.

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