Yahoo! Search Scientists Break New Ground on Search Results

Understanding a person’s intent when searching on the web is critical to the quality of search results offered and at Yahoo! Search, the science team is constantly working to refine our technology and provide people with more relevant answers, not links, to their search query.

Recently, Yahoo! Search scientists built a new search platform from the ground up with machine learning technology that improves Yahoo!’s vertical intent triggering system and, as a result, our ability to better anticipate the needs of the individual user as he or she searches online. With this new platform, our search algorithm has the ability to adapt to what users are really interested in, by continuously monitoring how they engage with the search results. The system then continuously and automatically improves itself to provide the most engaging web search experience.

This technology was recently launched for news and movie search queries, two categories that tested extremely well with the technology. For example, with breaking news search terms constantly changing, humans can’t instantly track which queries are now breaking news stories. The intended result for a user can change for the same search query on a daily or even hourly basis. The technology can determine what the users are looking for and bring it to the top. And the key results that may have been at the top this morning, can be moved to the middle of the search results page at the end of day if user behavior determines other content is now more relevant.

Based on the positive feedback we’ve received in testing this platform for news and movie searches, we plan to roll out this new technology to support shopping, local, travel and mobile searches in the coming months, as well as other experiences across the Yahoo! network.

–Yahoo! Search science team


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