Happy Fifth Birthday to Yahoo! Search

Five years ago, Yahoo! stopped using Google-powered results and embarked on their own search product. It’s been one heck of a journey.

Yahoo! highlighted the following milestones on their blog:

  • Opened search infrastructure and index to outside developers with BOSS.
  • Opened search results page to outside innovation with SearchMonkey.
  • Launched Search Assist, still the most sophisticated query assistance technology on the Web.
  • Launched a suite of mobile search products including Yahoo! oneSearch.
  • Acquired, grew, and improved Delicious, a social bookmarking tool.
  • Launched Site Explorer to help site owners to manage their presence on Yahoo! Search.
  • Protected users from potential viruses, spyware, and spam with SearchScan.
  • Integrated music and video players directly on the search results page.

Many of the above things were rolled out over the past, tumultuous year that began with an unsolicited (and ultimately unsuccessful) acquisition attempt by Microsoft and ended with Jerry Yang stepping down as CEO and Autodesk Chairman Carol Bartz stepping in to lead the purple people.

Will she successfully guide them to achieve the following, future-thinking goals?

  • Continuing to open search results page and infrastructure to improve search and encourage innovation in the industry.
  • Focusing on detecting and responding better to query intent.
  • Breaking the ten-blue-links paradigm by developing a richer, more adaptive search results page.
  • Making it easier to conduct and share online research with Search Pad.
  • Delivering a new and better advertising experience that improves relevance for users and ROI for advertisers.

I, for one, would love to see Yahoo! Search rise and take more search market share. I love Autodesk as a company (my husband is an AutoCAD programmer for a commerical kitchen hood company) and if anyone can bring a innovativeboost to Yahoo!, it’s Carol Bartz. Innovation, which is about the only way anyone will steal market share from Google, is always great for consumers.

Viva la Yahoo! and may the next 5 years be good to the Sunnyvale search engine.

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