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Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Yahoo's Got Game

Yahoo has been able to keep on top of their game just as people were coming to believe that they have started to slip. How have they approached the challenge to keep their name as a top contender? They took a step back and re-organized their tactics and development. They describe it as "re-writing our corporate DNA". The new approach entails the re-structuring of underlying ideas and methodology in their corporation. Their approach includes taking what is currently working and thinking outside the box. They decided to take a step back to figure out what demands are out there, how to hammer out a solution and make their client's web surfing experience simpler and more enjoyable. With that in mind they have developed new products, as well as methods of extracting insightful feedback from current and potential users.

So what exactly has Yahoo come up with? The new yahoo buzz has been circulating around their acquisition of Flickr, the development of Image Search, Video Search, Creative Commons Search and Y!Q. Image Search and Video search are pretty self-explanatory; Creative Commons Search on the other hand is a service that is both useful for authors and publishers. They offer content sharing which may otherwise have been difficult to attain for publishers to use and share, under certain conditions of course. Additionally they have developed what is known as the Y!Q service. This Y!Q service takes users into a whole new arena when it comes to locating content and articles of interest. This service is geared towards cutting search time from an estimate of 30 minutes to mere 2-3 minutes! They describe it as "Contextual Search Technology". The developers saw an open door for improvement when it comes to searching for related content that an average reader is engaged in. The road they are driving down is viewed as the "point of inspiration" content search, which searches by example. Its purpose is to search for articles that contain relevant information using content from articles versus keywords and topics.

In addition to new services, Yahoo recognizes the importance of communication and feedback. They have kicked their blog into gear with the Y!Q story in order to hype up new services and efforts. With that, they have given themselves the opportunity to listen to the public and test-drive their services with the benefits of feed-back.

Yahoo should be viewed both as an inspiration and challenge to the other big players in the search engine arena. Previously only Google approached the game with an "outside the box" mentality. Now we have two creative power- houses in competition. The results should be amazing.

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