Yahoo Aims to Improve Image, Video Search

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Yahoo has implemented new features in its search engine intended to make finding photos, videos and entertainment information simpler and more engaging.

Queries about topics like movies, musicians and celebrities will trigger a box at the top of the search results with consolidated information about things like discographies, concerts, events, videos, Twitter posts and images.

Netflix members will be able to add movies to their queues and launch the playback of a movie or TV show from within Yahoo's search results interface. Yahoo is working on offering more of this type of integration with third-party services in its search products.

Yahoo will also proactively package photo slideshows about hot search topics and display them at the top of search result pages. In the Image Search page specifically, Yahoo will display slideshows with public photos from Flickr and other Yahoo sites.

People who are signed into their Yahoo and Facebook accounts and have previously linked them will also see photos from their Facebook contacts in Yahoo result pages.

In addition, Yahoo has improved its search functionality in Android and iPhone devices through the use of HTML 5 technology.

Yahoo is transitioning its backend search functions, like crawling, indexing and ranking, to Microsoft, but has vowed to remain a relevant player in this market by differentiating itself through user interface innovations.

It remains to be seen to what extent Yahoo will be able to retain, or grow, its share of search queries, while relying on the same backend functions that power Microsoft's Bing.

In August in the U.S., Google's commanding lead in search queries stood at a 65.4 percent share, while Yahoo (17.4 percent) and Microsoft (11.1 percent) ranked second and third, respectively, according to comScore.

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