You may have written off Yahoo search, but the company themselves haven’t yet given up, even though they have outsourced most everything to Bing. Today the former leader of the industry rolled out a brand new version of their video and image search. Yahoo has strengthened their partnership with Getty Images to help power the new features.
Getty brings with them access to some of the highest quality images and they claim about 20,000 new images added daily and material from some of the highest-profile photographers. In addition to the new images there are new features to go along with them. Both image and video search have a brand new tiled thumbnail look. The thumbnails become larger when hovered on, much like Bing and Google have been doing for some time. Also borrowed from search competitors is the infinite scroll feature that Yahoo has now introduced. There are also two new filters on the left column – HD and Recent. “For images, the HQ badge identifies photos with at least 2 megapixels and a 1024 x 768 aspect ratio. For Yahoo! HQ videos, we use adaptive streaming technology to optimize your viewing experience by continuously adjusting the quality of the streamed Yahoo! hosted video to match the capabilities of your network and device.” Users can also search in the right column while watching a video in the main part of the screen.
The new features seem to be rolling out and not all users have access to them right now. To see more images of the new features you can head over to the Yahoo blog.
It’s a bold move to Yahoo! to do, but they have come out with their own browser. Calling itself a “Search Browser“, Axis has added many features to not only go to web pages, but also search on relevant content. With the tabs browser below and a login system to personalize experience, this might just be the browser to replace Safari on the iPad.
Right now,Axis is available for iOS devices, and as a plug-in for Chrome, IE, Firefox and Safari. Axis works like Google Chrome – you enter a web page or search term into the bar, and get results.
Axis on Searching
A pull-down menu shows you alternatives to what you are searching for. So if you were looking for “American Idol Winner”, you could flip between the American Idol homepage, Wikipedia’s entry on American Idol, or a multitude of news sources that are currently talking about American Idol. Best part is you don’t have to leave the page you are currently on to do a quick search and find out that Phillip Phillips is the 2012 American Idol Winner.
This is perfect for doing research, like looking up someone’s twitter handle, or finding a web page to refer to.
Axis Login option, Facebook, Google, but no Microsoft?
Yahoo! understands that you might not have a Yahoo! email address to login with. Therefore, they give you an option to also login to the browser using your Facebook or Google accounts. Conspicuously missing is the option for Microsoft’s Windows Live login. After all, isn’t Yahoo! using Microsoft’s search engine?
If you are accessing from the desktop, you will have to head to Yahoo!s login page. If you have a Yahoo! account, it will assume you want to sign in with that. To get the desktop add-on, go to http://axis.yahoo.com/
Move Across Multiple Machines, Keep the Same Pages Open
With Yahoo!s Connected experience, it allows you to move from mobile device to notebook or desktop without having to re-open pages. This is perfect for someone like me – I can set up my podcast show notes, then log into another computer and have the pages automatically load.
It also syncs your bookmarks, browsing history, and saved searches.
Yahoo! Axis seems to be an interesting little browser. With the ability to sync, it will probably replace Safari on my iPad.
Axis Tabs Option
Tabs on Yahoo! Axis are along the bottom on a pop-up option. You can add a tab (by pressing the “+”) or remove it (by pressing the “X”). Run multiple tabs for easy access to pages.
Axis on the Browser – The Return of the Yahoo! Homepage?
If you install on your browser, you will see a bar on the lower-left hand of your browser. Hover over to expand across the screen, and hit a button to expand. up. You can access your tabs and other search queries. It does take a little bit of time to understand (The ribbon on the left side will open your bookmarks, for example).
For the couple of hours that I have played with it, I am pretty impressed with Yahoo! Axis’ functionality. It does have the ability to bring up Yahoo.com – a page I haven’t really seen since 2001 when I was a lonely IT desktop specialist tasked to change the default browser homepages to the company’s website.
The latest search market share numbers have been released and two trends have continued – Bing is up and Yahoo is down. The numbers have been posted by both Compete and ComScore and the trends shown by both are very similar. Unfortunately for Microsoft, while Bing is gaining share on Yahoo, they are not getting anywhere in their battle against Google, who continue to be the 600 pound gorilla in the room.
Google, while maintaining their strangle-hold, has not seen an increase since late 2011, but that changed between March and April when their market share increased from 65.5% to 65.9% according to Compete rankings. Meanwhile, ComScore showed a slight Google decrease from 66.4% to 65.5%.
According to Compete Bing increased their share from 18.0% to 18.3% and Yahoo dropped from 15.7% to 15.0%. ComScore listed the changes as Yahoo being down from 13.7% to 13.5% and Bing with a slight increase from 15.3% to 15.4%.
While the slight increases for Bing sound promising it seems that most of the gain come at the expense of Yahoo and not Google. That isn’t so good since Bing now powers Yahoo search. Bing has recently released a series of updates that add better search results, functionality, and interface which could lead to another increase when the May numbers are released. You can check out both share rankings posted below.
Yahoo today announced the 10th anniversary edition of their Year in Review. The top 10 searched terms are a general barometer of the year, giving insight into the biggest products, news stories, and celebrities. Yahoo boasts about 700 million unique monthly users, so these results do provide a pretty good overview of the hot topics of the year. Yahoo has made their Year in Review available “in 17 versions including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Philippines, Spain, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and United States”
Surprisingly, at least to me, was that the most searched for term of 2011 wasn’t a celebrity or a news story, but a tech item – the iPhone. It was the first physical object to garner the number one spot since the Playstation 2 did in 2002. Britney Spears is the only multi-time winner, being number one in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. The Apple phone was the only non-news, non-person to to make the top ten list. Beyond it, you will find a mix of names, mostly celebrities along with a couple from news stories. Only one event made this year’s list – the Japan earthquake.
Here are top ten most searched for terms of 20, based on Yahoo’s data.
This week Yahoo put out a magazine style newsreader called Lifestand for the iPad. I am constantly looking at these types of applications having tried both Zite and FlipBoard, so when Lifestand became available I decided to give it a try. First like both Zite and FlipBoard it is beautifully made and well design. Setting it up is easy and using it is intuitive. When you first open it there are two sections. The bottom section contains all the content available thru Lifestand. As you go through it you can bookmark topics and sources that interest you and those go into the top section. Click on a source to choose it. Swipe left to view articles within a source. Click on the article and then swipe down to read the article. To go back in the menu, click on the arrow on the left bar.
After using it for a couple of days and despite it’s strengths I have decided Lifeststand is not for me. There are several things I either don’t like about it or are missing. The first weakness in my eyes is it is too Yahoo centric, which is not surprising, I just wish they had made it less obvious. The second problem is the sources within Lifestand are limited and there is no way to add new sources. Plus unlike Zite it doesn’t let you check off your likes and dislike and learn what you want and don’t want. The third and biggest problem for me is the fact that the sharing options are limited to Facebook and email. I need to be able to easily share with Twitter and Google Plus and I can’t do that thru Lifestand. If you are a fan of Yahoo you may like Lifestand, but I still prefer Zite or FlipBoard.
Yahoo is releasing a new weather app for Android and it looks like they have finally found a use for Flickr – not a profit from it, but a use for it, at least. Yes, there are literally hundreds of weather apps for Android, and there’s a Flickr app as well, but Yahoo found a way to combine the two and make their new weather app stand out from the crowd.
The new app will pull pictures in based on a user’s location and the current conditions in that location. In other words, if you are in New York City and it’s snowing, the Yahoo Weather app will search Flickr for a picture of NYC in the snow and use it as the background. Of course every location won’t have pictures on Flickr for every condition, but Flickr is incredibly popular so you may be surprised by how close it can get.
For Flickr users who are concerend that their work may be used without permission, Yahoo promises to only use photos from members who have opted in via their Project Weather Group. You can learn more, as well as download the app for free, from the Android Market.
It’s time. Time to make a decision. Time to stop holding onto the past. Time to realize you were on the top of game in 2000, but now it’s 2011. Time to see that Yahoo! is Yahover.
Can you turn the company around as Jerry Yang talked about during AsiaD in Hong Kong? Anything can happen. But you are not willing to put the money in to do that. Investors are weary and you have no leadership.
If I was your business analyst (and that isn’t even my profession), I would tell you what I tell other companies that choose not to sell:
Change your name
Set a new 2-year business plan
Get a CEO that knows Social Media
Re-build your look and feel
Re-build your clientele
Did I just say “Change your name?” YES! When I hear Yahoo! I think of a company that was on top of their game back in 2000. Eleven years later and I don’t associate Yahoo! with today. I associate Google, Microsoft or Facebook. I even have a better chance of associating AOL with 2011 over Yahoo!
Even the best business person will buy land just for the land. They’ll strike down the building and create a new epicenter. If the roof leaks and the foundation is shaky; if the building takes more energy to keep going, then rebuilding might take less money than repairing.
I wouldn’t fret, though. You really helped shape the Internet. You should be proud of that. Now it’s time to save what’s left of the company and maybe put together a new venture. I hear Microsoft is putting together a bid, among others. It’s not going to be $31 a share as in 2008, but I would guess it will be comparable.
If you are going to keep it, then find someone that can turn this company around. Get a CEO that knows what’s going on in the new media space. Someone that is active in Social Media. Someone that will bring new blood into the company.
Someone that doesn’t want to hear about this anymore.