Yahoo Tests Infinite Browse Search on Yahoo News

August 9, 2010 Off By Hoofer
Grazed from eWeek.  Author: Chris Boulton.

Yahoo is well into its integration with Microsoft to make Bing its algorithmic search engine, but the Internet company is still responsible for the search user interface.

Yahoo Aug. 6 said it is previewing Infinite Browse, a new module for Yahoo News that adds relevant search content, such as images, videos and slide shows below news stories.

Because it is only being flight tested with a small number of users, most folks won’t see it on Yahoo News, so the company provided this screenshot of the feature.

The boxes in the image appear below articles on Yahoo News, providing users more information on the topics they’re interested in. The idea is to give users more content without making them conduct a separate search.

Yahoo believes this will make it more convenient for users to consume content, keeping users searching and reading within Yahoo News longer.

"In its first week, our internal data indicates that user engagement with this related search information in Yahoo News is nearly twice the amount we see with similar features," noted Caroline Tsay, director of product management for Yahoo Search and Yahoo Search Product Manager Marc Davis.

If Yahoo can capitalize on Infinite Browse to put more ads in front of users, it will be a nice boost for a company that has fallen behind the pact of Google, Twitter and Facebook in relevance.

Some 25 percent of Yahoo searches in the United States are actually powered by Bing thanks to the companies’ 10-year search and search ad pact.

Microsoft in July 2009 agreed to power Yahoo’s search engine and pay the company 88 percent of traffic acquisitions costs for the first five years of a 10-year deal.

The idea was to join forces to take on Google, which commands a 66 percent search share in the United States. Microsoft and Yahoo together will hold roughly 30 percent of the search market.

Microsoft lost out on the chance to power Yahoo Japan when Google swooped in and partnered with that company, which is majority-owned by Softbank. Microsoft is contesting the business deal.