Just a day after releasing Yahoo Local, Yahoo has launched My Yahoo Search, offering several new features that allow you to save, annotate and search listings from Yahoo search result pages.
Chris Sherman has a full rundown here in SearchDay: Yahoo Introduces Personal Search. I've written a companion piece for our Search Engine Watch members looking at how personalization impacts the task of search marketers and especially how Yahoo's new "Block Site" feature operates: Search Personalization: A Marketer's Perspective.
Chris finds personalization at Yahoo is nicely done but underpowered compared to some other similar services and more a good start than a must-use application, in his view. I'm much more positive.
Talking with both Chris and Gary, they seem to especially like services that let you both save sites you've visited and search against the text of the pages you've found. That's why they love things like Furl, which LookSmart recently acquired.
Me, I'm not so bothered about needing to search through the pages I've found. Heck, I found them. I know what's on them. Instead, I find myself more interested in trying to recall what I searched for originally and remember sites I found as matches for a query.
For that, I've been loving a9's features. It's automatically keeping track of things for me, but it also gives me the quality of Google's results. In fact, I find myself more and more disliking the fact that Google itself isn't keeping track of things for me automatically.
Now Yahoo's jumped in with great search quality and easy to use "search memory" features as well. For an ordinary searcher, I think it's really compelling. I especially like the simple way someone can make a note right within the search results, plus the ability to have things remembered automatically if the Visited Results feature is enabled.
Ask's new personalization features are compelling in much the same way, to me. So in a matter of just weeks, I find these tools to me now being an essential part of any search engine's offering -- and a nice return for the majors since the last time they were tried, by MSN back in 1999.
What about Google, the most notable of the majors now without them? Google tells me it has no future plans for search memory-style tools to announce at this time. Instead, personalization remains restricted to the Google Personalized Search beta service that alters things based on interest areas and Google's Site Flavored Search, which operates in a somewhat similar manner for publishers.
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