Welcome to the New Yahoo! Search

  • Posted September 22nd, 2009 at 7:00 am by Yahoo! Search
  • Categories: Search

Today, we are launching an all-new Yahoo! Search experience that makes search more personally relevant. We tested the changes in August with a percentage of users, and now the new page is available to everyone. The new page is designed to help you easily find and explore the things that matter most to you. The Yahoo! Search team is delighted to demonstrate our commitment to innovate in search technology and deliver an amazing user experience.

Yahoo! has also just launched a number of major changes to our core products, which include a new Yahoo! homepage, improved Yahoo! Mail, high-quality video calling in Yahoo! Messenger, and a suite of new Yahoo! Mobile experiences. The new Yahoo! Search page design aligns the experience between our new homepage, mail, and the search results page. This delivers a dynamic, compelling, and integrated experience that better understands what you are looking for so you can get things done quickly on the Web.

Most importantly, we designed this new page framework so that we can introduce and experiment with new search applications and features faster than before. Today’s launch is just the beginning of innovations to come.

Key highlights:

  • Intelligent Search Results – Allows you to explore results from key sites and narrow results using different types of SearchMonkey structured data. Over the past few months, even more enhanced results for product, local, entertainment, reference, social, and tech sites have been displayed automatically. With the new search page design, we have made it easier to see these riche results from an increasing number of sites.
  • Feature-Rich Experience – Provides quick access to search features that make people’s online lives safer and easier, including Search Scan/SafeSearch (which helps protect you from viruses, spyware, and spam while you search) and Search Pad. Now it will be even easier to return to the research documents you have created while searching.
  • Search Assist Expansion – With the new design, our powerful query assistance is still available directly below the search box, but we’ve also incorporated it into the left-hand column for quick access lower on the page, even when the Search Assist layer is hidden. You can use this column to easily explore and discover concepts related to your query. We have added Search Assist to the search box on every Yahoo! page in the U.S. with the launch of a new universal header.

Yahoo! Search Results Page

Today we are also revamping our image search and video search results pages to present a consistent user experience. In the left-hand column on the image search results page, users can find an extension of the travel refiners that we introduced back in July, as well as celebrity and entertainment categories. When you search for celebs like “Matt Damon” or “Tina Fey,” Yahoo! Image Search will tap into the “web of objects” and present related people, movies, and TV shows in their appropriate categories.

Yahoo! Image Search Results

Now, here’s the best part: Rather than building this new experience on top of our existing front-end technology, our talented engineering and design teams rebuilt much of the foundational markup/CSS/JavaScript for the SRP design and core functionality completely from scratch. This allowed us to get rid of old cruft and take advantage of quite a few new techniques and best practices, reducing core page weight and render complexity in the process.

Key points about performance:

  • Improved total page load time – Even though the new design includes dozens of additional assistance features and graphical assets, we are seeing faster page loading time and significant speed improvements.
  • Improved perceived load time – In addition to reducing the weight of the page, we also greatly reduced the perceived load time by sending the page in three semantically meaningful chunks: first the search box and page header, then the rest of the visible content, and finally JavaScript for rich behavior.
  • Inline data URI images – We’re taking advantage of specialized techniques for modern browsers such as inline data URI images, which we use to generate our subtle repeating gradients. This improves perceived and real performance dramatically. For legacy browsers, we provide the same gradients with traditional image sprites.

What does this all mean for you? Quite simply, the new search page is faster because it was built with performance in mind from the start.

We’re thrilled to put the all-new Yahoo! Search results page in your hands today in the U.S., U.K., France, Spain, Mexico, and India. You can learn more by checking out a tour that explains all of the features of this new experience. Please let us know what you think in the comments section below. Over the coming months, we will continue to deliver even more enhancements to this new experience, so be sure to check in often to see what we’re up to!

Larry Cornett

Vice President, Consumer Products, Yahoo! Search

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