Yahoo! working towards ‘smart' search

Swetha Kannan Bangalore | Updated on November 23, 2017 Published on January 26, 2011

Mr Rajeev Rastogi, Vice-President, Yahoo! Labs, Bangalore.   -  Business Line

Search ‘M.S. Dhoni' and instead of getting a ‘results' page that gives links to 10 Web pages which you have to individually click open painstakingly and figure out where the information you want lies, you could actually get all the info (news, photos, blogs, videos, tweets and even info about upcoming matches, ticket sales) on a single platter! The Yahoo! Labs in Bangalore is working towards this distinct possibility and more.

When a user types a search query on Yahoo!, the site would extract information on the query from different Web pages and links, put it all together and show the user a single integrated page, instead of showing 10 blue links.

“We call this a topic entity page and the feature is called accordion. A part of the accordion search experience is already available to users. But there could even be a possibility – depending on how good the technology gets – wherein you don't need the Web links or they could be pushed to another page,” says Mr Rajeev Rastogi, Vice-President, Yahoo! Labs, Bangalore.

How far are users from a total experience? Mr Rastogi says no timeline can be given. “We have some very preliminary versions. This is our vision based on where search is headed and the Bangalore labs are playing a key role in information extraction techniques, which are fundamental to this effort.”

The experience could happen in phases, says Mr Rastogi – searches on celebrities to start with, as there is lot of content available on them, followed by categories such as ‘shopping' and ‘businesses, while “putting together a whole page for generic topics is more challenging”.

As Yahoo! tries to beef its market share in the search space, it is keen to offer users an engaging experience through customisation and personalisation. The search deal with Microsoft is yet another indicator of Yahoo!'s sustained interest to take on search king Google.

“Search engines are getting smarter. We will continue to improve and differentiate our products as search is core business for us,” he says.

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Published on January 26, 2011
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