Connecting People to the World’s Knowledge through Social Search

  • Posted February 5th, 2007 at 8:45 am by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Social Search

I recently sat down with Gord Hotchkiss over at Search Engine Land for his column titled, ‘Just Behave’ and talked about the power of the Yahoo! Search experience, as I see it. We honed in on social search because, quite frankly, it’s quickly becoming a key factor in the overall success of a search experience. At Yahoo! we strive to connect people to their passions, their communities, and the world’s knowledge and we believe to do that we have to offer a more complete search experience that brings together the relevant information from across the web with the fresh insights and knowledge of real people from around the world.

A clear example of this is Yahoo!’s practice of integrating knowledge from the Yahoo! Answers community into search. If you look at the Yahoo! Search results, you will see a new section that features an excerpt of the best answers to questions that are relevant to your search.

But really, how does Social Search enhance search, you ask? I think the following analogy captures the essence of that synergy. There are a number of raw materials required for the creation of ‘art’. The raw horsepower of machinery has made the refinement and access to these materials increasingly easier. But, no one would argue that simply blending these materials together results in art. It takes the human hands of an artist to create beauty and meaning. You need human talent to bring those raw materials together in a holistic way to create something that no machine could ever produce.

Search has increasingly become better at refining raw information into ever more useful materials. The powerful blend of Social Search with traditional search puts this material into the hands of real people and also creates something that no machine could really ever reproduce: A connection to the world’s knowledge.

Larry Cornett
Yahoo! Search

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