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A Closer Look at Yahoo! News

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Yahoo has fortified its news service in recent weeks, offering both increased depth and powerful search tools that make it a compelling choice for finding online news.

Yahoo News is now incorporating more than 3,500 sources from Moreover's public metabase of near real-time news content. This is in addition to the full-text coverage provided by dozens of providers, and a wide range of editorially selected coverage.

"Online news is becoming a larger and larger category," said Eckart Walther, senior director of product management for Yahoo Search. "It's one of the top five reasons people search on the web."

Yahoo's combination of algorithmically and editorially selected coverage makes it unique among the news services offered by the major search engines and portals, which are virtually all automated.

"Yahoo News was designed by journalists for journalists, with a lot of thinking for how best to bring that power to consumers," said Walther.

Yahoo has always had a strong news service, perhaps most noted for its Full Coverage section. The Full Coverage section is compiled by Yahoo's human editors, who scour the web each day not only for news articles but web sites, original documents, multimedia, and other information that sheds light on recent events around the world.

Full Coverage is categorized into eight categories: U.S., World, Business, Technology, Science, Health, Entertainment, Sports. Each of these major categories is sub-categorized by major stories or events, making it easy to track issues that interest you without searching.

Full Coverage offers two key benefits over most other online news sources -- it offers unique depth and scope, and features only high quality content selected by editorial judgement.

But Full Coverage is just one of many goodies offered by Yahoo news. Yahoo has relationships with a number of major news providers, including the Associated Press, Reuters, The New York Times, Washingtonpost.com and USA Today. In addition to these major sources, Yahoo News features the full text from dozens of specialized and local news providers. Articles from these sources are available anywhere from a week to a month after publication.

Like most online news sources, Yahoo News is updated continuously throughout the day. "You see breaking news stories up to the second, based on the topic," said Walther.

Most of these stories come from Yahoo's news providers. The addition of headlines from Moreover includes a lot of secondary sources, and industry and trade professional journals, says Walther.

Apart from headline news and Full Coverage, Yahoo's advanced news search offers some powerful filters. You can limit your search to a particular news source or time frame (up to 30 days), and apply Boolean operators to your query.

You can also do some nifty things like searching for specific authors or photographers, by using the "author:" operator before a name. The "dateline:" operator works in the same way, to specify the location where a news story was filed by an author. And Yahoo news search also supports wildcards -- just add an asterisk (*) after any word to see other words that share the same root.

If you sign up to become a member of Yahoo (free registration), you also gain the capability to save news searches that you perform frequently. This is a great way to get finely customized news about very specific topics that interest you.

Similarly, you can sign up to get news alerts automatically emailed to you, either immediately as news breaks, or in a daily digest containing up to 20 of your alerts.

The enhancements to Yahoo News are part of the company's broader vertical search strategy, according to Walther. Yahoo also is working on improvements to its yellow pages search, image search, and has an advanced product search in beta.

If you haven't looked at Yahoo News recently, it's worthy of your attention. With its adept blending of automated and editorially selected news sources, combined with a powerful set of search tools, Yahoo News is a top choice for a one-stop source of online news.

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