Yahoo! Search, like the world at large, is bracing it self for the FIFA WorldCup 2010 in South Africa in a few weeks time and has come up with new all-round features to provide specific and real-time information on the competition -- a move likely to keep users around the world on its site and increase dwell time significantly.
Test drive time
The search returns a specific box as first result, with suggestions for photo and video content as well as related topics. Additionally, at the top of your page, you can also benefit from other wider suggestions in the dark banner. Whether you're into soccer/football or not, you have enough material to brief you like a pro there.
For those who support a specific team, it is also possible to do so by customizing your special Yahoo World Cup toolbar and by displaying the team's flag and colors right there.
Big event - Dedicated page
If you're not content with the above features, you may want to check one more place that Yahoo has put together: the specially dedicated Yahoo! Sports World Cup 2010 page
All available information on the event and topic are there.
Hidden goal (yes, pun intended): increase dwell time
These features will be all the more interesting once the World Cup per say will have launched in a few weeks time as they will enable Internet users around the globe to follow the event from the comfort of their office desk during work hours too.
By promising "real-time scores, TV schedules, news, and highlights all in one spot", Yahoo is trying to allure users to stay on its site (such promises may incite fury among "women against the world cup" - ed). One might go as far to say that the search engine is looking suspiciously like a content company.
On its blog, the search engine promises to deliver "schedules and scores for specific teams, groups or matches directly in Yahoo! Search results, as well as quick previews, live scores, news headlines, and post-game wrap ups for every game" directly in the Yahoo! Toolbar.
This is a smart way to boost "stickiness", right? Advertisers and marketers should find this a precious vehicle for their ambitions. Likewise, it will be interesting to see the final average dwell time figures by time and by geographical spread when the World Cup is over.