Search is evolving. Internet users these days are turning to search engines for more needs than just your basic search queries. The engines are rolling out new and improved features to win over users and increase the user experience. Recently Google launched is customizable search features called SearchWiki. (check out the blog post here for more info). This exciting little feature offers a lot for users looking for a more individual search experience.
But in offering this option, many other Google features have been ash canned, including the Google Notebook tool. I don’t know about you, but I use search engines to do a lot of research on a lot of things. Whether it be for SEO news, or new eye shadow colors and discount shoes (I know, I’m a girlie girl sometimes…) I’m constantly researching, bookmarking, and revisiting sites of interest. Sometimes this process can be tedious, and more often than not I forget where I found what I needed.
Now yahoo has made this even easier. Their new tool called Yahoo Search Pad offers some very interesting and useful functions to make online research that much easier. Check it out:
Seriously I’m jazzed about this feature. By using Yahoo! Search Pad it records the sites you visit, adding in a screen capture of the pages to help you remember them later. You can add in notes, or you can copy and paste in text from other pages; by doing so the Search Pad automatically finds the source of your copied text and adds a link in case you’d like to do further reading. It saves all your search information under your yahoo ID for you to access again later. You can email your search, print it out, or just save it. Currently just in the beta phase of development, Yahoo! Hopes to have the bugs worked out and make it available for wide spread use by this year.
This is going to make research so much easier to customize, organize, and store. I mean, I’ll be honest I’ve never been a fan of the Google Notebook tool. It just doesn’t offer any more convenience than using a word document would. And while I really think that the Google SearchWiki is a cool function, it isn’t as strong for research as Yahoo’s new tool seems to be. I’m curious to see what other ideas Yahoo has in the works in the way of tools and functions for users.
So the big question is: Is it enough? Obviously Yahoo! Is making strides to stand out in the search engine pack, and possibly pull users from the big G. But is one aspect of functionality enough to make people jump ship for Yahoo? Probably not. Google has the market on lock down. But I will say that I’m excited to see Yahoo offer more of these kinds of tools for its users. This may not be the big thing that changes the search engine tides, but it very well may be the beginning of some small, but exciting waves in the kiddie pool.