Sunnyvale (CA) – Yahoo got lost in the recent Bing Bing surrounding Microsoft’s new search engine and a discussion whether this “little engine that could”, as Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer describes Bing, will be able to catch up to Google. But Yahoo is still there and, depending on the market research firm you look at, has still a greater market share than Bing. Today, we are getting a glimpse of how Yahoo intends to compete with Bing and Yahoo – with a new search feature called Search Pad.
Yahoo said it will roll out a beta version of its Search Pad search engine tool later today. Announced in February of this year, the Search Pad is designed to be a “personal research assistant” that lets users customize search results, reorganize rankings, delete certain results and take notes on a dedicated “pad”.
The new feature is much more evolutionary than, for example, Microsoft’s choice to introduce an entirely new search engine, and aims to assist users to sift through with a flood of search results. Once activated, Search Pad automatically saves recent items, including links in one integrated notepad that stays with them as they search. People can edit their notes and then print, save, email, or share their Search Pad documents with other users, which potentially could avoid redundant searches. A complete research result is saved via a Yahoo ID and then published to a dedicated URL.
We aren’t sure if Search Pad is really so powerful that it can impact Yahoo’s market share. At first sight, Search Pad makes searches not easier, but more complex. However we do not doubt that saving complex research activities is a good idea.
The new Search Pad is activated by default on Yahoo’s search engine.