Yahoo Plans New Features To Improve Search Results

by , Jun 5, 2013, 4:47 PM
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As Google pushes organic results down the page under product listing ads, Yahoo has altered its search engine results page to emphasize a cleaner approach at the top. The signal-line navigation bar now appears higher on the page, and some improvements on the back end aim to provide faster load times.

MediaPost reported seeing the change last month, but the company announced the Yahoo Search redesign in the United States Wednesday on its Tumblr account, complete with an animated GIF that compares the old version with the new.

During the next few months, Yahoo plans to introduce more features to improve the search experience, according to Laurie Mann, senior vice president, search at Yahoo. It will combine "utility with beauty," a first step.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer has more work to do. In a Bloomberg TV interview earlier this year, Mayer walked through the evolution of features like voice search and personalization. "In the future, you become the query," she said. "It's what you type, your background, where you are, it's your preferences, it's what you looked at yesterday, and the search box can take all that input and return a set of custom results."

Mayer also walked through the missing mobile piece, and how it might fit into the mix. "Search is a daily habit, and what people do on their phone often becomes daily habits," she said. "When I thought about the strategy for Yahoo, I pulled the list of what people do on their phones in rank, order, frequency."

That list includes checking email, as well as weather, news, financial quote, sports score, play games, and share photos. All are services Yahoo offers to support mobile users' daily habits.

Yahoo's board and investors will make sure Mayer earns her annual salary, which SNL Kagan estimates at nearly $37 million in compensation last year. The $454,862 in base salary plus $35 million in stock and option awards makes her the top-earning new media chief executive in 2012, according to analysis from SNL Kagan.

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