Significant buzz surrounded Yahoo's PR offices yesterday as Yahoo's CTO Blake Irving introduced "Search Direct" to the world as a challenger to Google Instant.
Whilst hot off the press, Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land undertook a quick head to head comparison between Search Direct and Google Instant which you can read here, presenting Yahoo Search Direct in a rather poor light.
Search Direct and Instant Search Functionality is Old Technology
Let's not forget however that the idea of instant search by internet standards is old. Yahoo experimented with this functionality back in 2005 and further experiemented with instant search functionality on their alltheweb search engine in 2006. Incidentally, Miles Carter covered both of these topics back in September last year upon the launch of Google Instant. So although the technology is relatively old, what is new is how this technology has evolved and become more intuitive of a search users needs, current trends and personalisation e.g. geographic results.
Search Direct Presents the "Next Generation of Search"
Yahoo are clearly very excited about this new version of instant search functionality with Shashi Seth, Head of Yahoo Search claiming that it is the "next generation of search" and Irving stating it to be "much faster" and "much richer" than others out there (Google). Although somewhat lacking in features at present, Yahoo promises that many will be rolled out in the coming months.
Advertising Space To Be Made Available
Along with the new functionality and features that it offers search users, Seth also raised a point that in time, Search Direct will cater for advertisers with sponsored results appearing in the Search Direct box alongside the results (or "answers" to use Yahoo's terminology).
Search Direct is not live in the UK yet however Yahoo intends to fully roll the system out across Yahoo in the forthcoming months.
Is Search Direct A True Rival to Google Instant?
So is Search Direct from Yahoo going to be a giant killer? Only time will tell, however with it still being in a beta environment at present user experience may well suffer from some initial teething problems.
Try Search Direct for yourself: http://search.yahoo.com for full access to the features available: