On the heels of Microsoft’s search engine revamp last week
, Yahoo is also stepping up its efforts
to challenge rival Google with a revamped version
of its search engine which now offers blended results, improved search term analysis, and a new "Search Assist" tool.
Search Assist has been added as an AJAX layer on top of the page that tries to help predict what the user is looking for and offers variable wording for a person’s searches. Yahoo says the feature saves people from repeated searches, as people often must reformulate their initial queries.
"In testing Search Assist, we found that users were 61% more successful in completing their task with this new search feature at their disposal," Yahoo! Search VP Vish Makhijani said.
Other improvements include the integration with Yahoo's calendar service, and Upcoming.org to highlight local events when they're relevant to a request. It also integrates with Yahoo-owned Flickr for displaying photos tagged with words from the user's query, and with Yahoo Music service to stream audio snippets when users search for certain bands.