Yahoo is in an exciting experimental phase, testing out a wide variety of new elements to make their search engine more competitive. One of their most recent experiments is particularly intriguing. Yahoo appears to have implemented a click to search function for words and phrases that appear in Yahoo! Shine articles. When you visit an article on Yahoo Shine and highlight a word or phrase, a button that says “Search” appears almost instantly:
If you click on the search button, a mini Yahoo search box opens up for that term:
The search box contains both organic and paid results. If the first results don’t appeal to you, clicking on the “More search results” link opens a new window with a Yahoo search for that term.
The “search” button appears for highlighted phrases that do not exceed 40 characters. The two searches below highlight 40 and 41 characters, respectively:
This is an exciting development because it is both easy and convenient for the user. One frequent reason that a user might highlight a phrase in an article is to perform a search of that phrase. Performing a search would typically require right clicking to open a new search, or manually opening a new window and pasting the phrase into a search box. This experimental feature eliminates those extra steps and simultaneously encourages users to perform their searches on Yahoo rather than on a competing search engine. Driving more searches and traffic is an obvious plus for Yahoo. It also provides a boost for paid search on Yahoo. Because the pop-up search box is limited to only a few of the top results, the paid results get the highest visibility and, in some cases, take up the majority of the box.
It remains unclear precisely when this change was first implemented or if it’s solely limited to Yahoo Shine, but if it proves successful then it could be extended to other types of Yahoo articles. We look forward to seeing how this new feature plays out, and we’ll keep our eyes open for what other tricks Yahoo has up their sleeves.