SMX West: What Searchers Want (2:36)

Posted on by Abby Johnson |

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As searchers, we all have frustrations when we search. That’s why Yahoo conducted a study to better understand our search behavior. In this video, Larry Cornett of Yahoo tells us about their study as well as what they found out.

The company went around to 6 different U.S. cities and surveyed 150 Web users. The 3 continuing themes from their research were:

1.    Information overload
2.    Text overload
3.    Impersonal experience

As Larry explains, the average Web user does not care how many million results the search engines return. Even though it means a lot to the search engines, the average user doesn’t even look past the first page.

The same idea is true with text overload. It takes a lot of work for the user to sort through all the text. As users, we want relevant information and want it quickly. The study also found that we desire a personal experience as we search. Larry explains that since we use the engine every day, it should know our habits.

Yahoo is working to respond to this study and to users search needs. One of the approaches the company is taking to answer this dilemma is with Yahoo SearchMonkey. The open platform is a developer tool that essentially gives Yahoo more structured data in order for the company to deliver better results. A few specific examples include ratings for restaurants, phone numbers, and street addresses.

Yahoo Search BOSS is another approach the company is taking and at SMX West, announced a few features and updates to the model. One feature allows access to SearchMonkey structured data through BOSS API. Search BOSS provides a 3-tier pricing structure and offers up to 10,000 search queries per day to all developers for free. The fee changes will not take effect until late Q2 of this year, but Yahoo wanted to give developers an advance notice.

Yahoo also encourages marketers to embrace blended/universal search to help better meet the searchers needs.

Posted in: Blended Search, Larry Cornett, SEO, SMX West 2009, Yahoo Interviews
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