Yahoo has added a number of features to its search pages designed to help users find more relevant information whether they're using a PC, iPhone or Android handset.
The updates, which were first talked about in September, are mostly focused on entertainment and news. They also add a bit of a graphics tweak, with an increased use of HTML5 on mobile versions of the search site.
“Our goal is to understand what people care about and to make it fun for them to explore the most personally relevant, interesting, and informative content so that they can get things done faster and stay in the know,” said Shashi Seth, senior vice president, Yahoo Search and Marketplaces.
“Yahoo’s new immersive Search is a cornerstone of the overall Yahoo experience, creating more ways to connect people with whatever and whoever interests them.”
The new features are not particularly obvious until you start searching. Yahoo said that users looking for information on Lady Gaga, for example, would get a range of results, including videos and images, something Google has been offering for a while.
Yahoo describes the features in a number of ways. For example, the term 'cut to the chase' is used to describe the way it offers 'intelligent shortcuts' for current topics, which return images, articles, videos and Tweets. Aiding merchants and adding to Yahoo’s one-stop-shop feel, this feature also gives users the option to buy film or concert tickets.
It is on mobile search where Yahoo has made perhaps the most interesting enhancements, updating its system for Android and iPhone handsets to take more advantage of HTML5. The firm said the changes made results 'richer' and would enable improved content delivery. The updates roll out across the US from today, with other regions to follow.
Yahoo will be hoping the changes will lift its market share, which currently languishes at less than five per cent, according to the latest figures from Statcounter.
Seperately, but also possibly helping chip away at Google's dominance in the search market, Mozilla has added Bing as a search option to its web toolbar.
The firm announced today that it has had a toolbar reshuffle and has added Bing, which powers Yahoo searches, but dropped Answers.com and Creative Commons searches.
"Yahoo has a loyal following and continues to provide a differentiated user experience, even as it integrates the Bing engine for its algorithmic search results. Bing itself offers a user experience that we think users will find valuable", wrote Mozilla in a blog post.
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