Yahoo is testing a new approach to delivering news search results, combining traditional media sources with "citizen journalism" from blogs and images from its Flickr photo sharing site.
Although not the long-anticipated blog/feed search that we know is coming soon, Yahoo's blending of news and blog sources is a nice way to get perspectives on current events from both professional and amateur sources.
Run a search on Yahoo News and your results will include traditional news sources from the 6,500 media outlets Yahoo crawls, as always. On the right side of search results you'll also see a pane with blog search results. Click on the "all blog results" link at the bottom of this pane, and you'll see a page with additional blog search results, as well as a new pane displaying Flickr images that have been tagged with keywords relevant to your search terms.
Results are sorted by relevance, with an option to sort by date. You can also use the new "topic tracker" to add your query to My Yahoo, or click the xml button to add a feed for the search to an RSS aggregator.
Blog posts are drawn from those included in the My Yahoo feed directory, a collection in the "high hundreds of thousands" of blogs. Yahoo plans to expand this coverage to the millions of blogs that ping its blo.gs service, but gave no date for when this additional coverage would be rolled out. Yahoo also plans to launch a stand-alone blog/feed search service in the near future.
The integration of blogs and news in Yahoo news search results is well done, clearly separating professional news sources from blogs, but making it easy to get content from multiple sources. Yahoo says that it's an easy way to expose the 20 million plus monthly Yahoo news users to the world of the blogosphere.
If you publish a blog and would like to be included in blogs displayed in Yahoo News search results, see the Publisher's Guide to RSS which has instructions on submitting your RSS feed to Yahoo.