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Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Thoughts on Yahoo! Search Page

Category: Professional

Yahoo! has provided links to check email, read news, and follow the Markets from their search page.

This content makes the search page crowded.

Why does a net surfer come to Yahoo! Search?
Most probably to search. That is to enter a query in the search box to find something.
Now, if there are links to email, news, and markets from the search page is it not diluting the importance of search?

Let's take an example.

I want to search for New York Hotels.

The results for New York Hotels on Yahoo! search show sponsored results, the first three results in this example, and then the actual web search results.

To a net surfer who doesn't understand the difference between free and sponsored results, or to one who understands the difference but finds the sponsored results appealing, this particular search query will definitely generate a clickthrough which in turn will be pay-per-click revenue for Yahoo! through Overture services.

Now, if Yahoo! increases the content on the search page this will draw the net surfers away from their main activity of searching.

In the above example, if I want to search for New York Hotels, but I see the mail link and instead of searching I click the mail link and go on to check my email. So hasn't Yahoo! lost a search that would have generated a PPC ad (sponsored result) clickthorugh.

Had these thoughts after checking Yahoo! search page.

If you want surfers to search, let them search. Period.

Providing content on the Search page is a different way of thinking—that of populating the search page, which is an attempt to bring/align the search experience with checking email and reading news, which in turn is about integrating search, news, and email. However (this however is a dangerous word), this compromises on the chances of generating a PPC ad clickthrough, as described in the above example. (I feel this way, correct me if I'm wrong).

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