Yahoo Mindset Demo Allows “Intent Driven” Search Refinement

Michel points out that the Yahoo Research Lab has quietly released a new demo called Mindset.

The Mindset Search Demo applies a new twist on search that uses machine learning technology to give you a choice: View Yahoo! Search results sorted according to whether they are more commercial or more informational (i.e., from academic, non-commercial, or research-oriented sources).

Mindset allows users to dynamically rerank result pages using a “slider.” Very cool and in my opinion an intuitive way for the searcher, who would never use any type of advanced search options, to quickly and easily focus their result sets.

Greg’s feels differently and makes several good points.

The public I’ve demonstrated “sliders” to during training sessions have found them very userful, easy to understand, and just plain cool. However, most people don’t get any web search and research training. Should the large web engines be offering more training opportunities?

The Mindset “slider” reranks results from commercial/shopping results to “research type” results.

This page explains how it works and reminds us that Mindset is a work in progress.

The use of “sliders” at Yahoo is not a new idea. Yahoo also offers them to rerank reviews for nine types of consumer electronic products on Yahoo Shopping. It’s called SmartSort and went live in late 2003. SmartSort uses reviews from PC World magazine while Mindset uses open web content.

Kayak and MSN’s “Search Builder” are two other services that use sliders. Google offers a slider on their Google Personalized demo. Note: I’m unable to get the Google Personalized demo to load on Friday afternoon.

More from Greg Linden and the Yahoo Search Blog.

Want to discuss? Visit our forum thread, Yahoo! Mindset Beta.

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