Yahoo! Rich Search Assist – it’s not the same as Google Instant, honest

Yahoo! have announced that they are testing their new ‘rich search’ feature. Can this compete with Google Instant?

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Last week Google launched Google Instant Preview, so it comes as little surprise that Yahoo! has also announced that they’re testing something new.

‘Rich Search Assist’ is the latest innovation from Yahoo! that promises to ‘change the way you consume information’.

Much like Google Instant, the new feature automatically shows results in the top half of the page as you type. Like so;

Yahoo rich

Ethan Batraski, Group Product Manager at Yahoo! Search, blogged;

Here at Yahoo!, we know that sometimes search is just about getting things done – fast. Whether you’re looking for the latest game score, nutritional facts about that latte you ordered this morning, or your favorite TV show – you should be able to find answers with little to no effort.”

Unlike Google Instant, Yahoo!’s results previews cover up paid ads. In relation to this, Shashi Seth, senior vice president of Yahoo! Search products told Search Engine Land that this has  been “revenue neutral” – ad income isn’t impacted.

He also also said that “user engagement and happiness” has gone up. We’ll take his word for it.

Until it’s made public and we can test it for ourselves, it’s hard to say how this feature really compares to Google Instant and Google Instant Preview. But at first glances, it looks good, if not very similar to the latter.

And as for the name, ‘Yahoo Rich Search Assist’ – doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like ‘Google Instant’, does it?

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