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Old 02-03-2005   #1
Chris Sherman
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Yahoo Testing Contextual Search Tool

Sometimes search terms are just too... limiting. Wouldn't it be better if you could have a "search by example" function that let you feed entire web pages into a search engine as a query, and get results based on an analysis of the page?

Yahoo has just introduced a tool that does exactly that, and today's SearchDay article, Yahoo Offers New Contextual Search Tool, describes this cool new utility, available for both Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers.

Comments welcome!
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Old 02-03-2005   #2
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Very cool stuff! I'm sure Danny will be very happy to see this one. Finally a true "Contextual" feature that is really about search.

From my first tests, the first time I clicked on the Y!Q "Search Related Info" link it took a while to load. Then speed started to improve as I clicked on the other similar links within the same content of the page. Perhaps there is a learning process upon first click (eg. analize the page and cache it), then it knows what it needs to do.

I did not see any wording of "Sponsored Sites" or any other, so let's keep an eye out for when they start monetizing on it. I'm sure it take a while for website owners to install on their pages and users to use in their browsers.

Nice stuff from Yahoo!

Small problem though . . . What about all those using Adsense? Will there be any conflict with the TOS for those currently using this type of contextual advertising? Are we into a new race for market share where users must choose one or the other, but can't have both?
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Old 02-03-2005   #3
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It rocks

My first impression is that it rocks totally and is nicely revealing. I use Firefox these days and added the necessary extensions for Y!Q in my browser. Before restarting though, I checked out the related link in Y! News - how completely cool!

Being a Hendrix fan, I used the browser extension to highlight the following text from the official Hendrix Web site and send the query to Y!Q:

"In his brief four-year reign as a superstar, Jimi Hendrix expanded the vocabulary of the electric rock guitar more than anyone before or since. Hendrix was a master at coaxing all manner of unforeseen sonics from his instrument"

It "automagically" queried based on these terms pulled from the snippet:

jimi hendrix
rock guitar
sonics
electric rock

Talk about refining search: 172 pages. Jimi Hendrix yields a normal Web search with 1,540,000 page listings. Most of the nouns were detected correctly and used for refinement. This includes culling rock guitar and electric rock out of the full phrase electric rock guitar.

Since the word sonics does not exactly relate, (except it's the nickname for a Seattle area sports team and Jimi was from Seattle,) I was able to deselect the checkbox for that term. A new SERP appeared automatically with 224 pages. That is still nicely refined, contextually correct and a very excellent way to refine SERPs.

Since Google recently made it past the 10 word query mark with a new limit of 32, I think Yahoo! still has them beat with this. Not only can you seemingly paste as much text as you like into the query box and get very excellent results, but you can also deselect terms that you find not relevent to your topic with a simple click.

Very nice. Rock on Y!

Best,
-detlev

Last edited by detlev : 02-03-2005 at 02:28 AM. Reason: deleted some text not exactly relevent
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Old 02-03-2005   #4
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Why require some special tool? Why not just offer a special search box that will take a paragraph of text?

Does anyone remember Webtop from 2001?

The thing that was interesting about Webtop was that you could paste several paragraphs of semi-coherent prose into their search box via the clipboard, and it would do a very competent job of returning pages that covered the same territory. It was able to crunch these text streams into theme and content vectors. I loved it. If Yahoo is smart they'll track down that software and acquire it (no, I have no idea where to look).

Seems to me that Yahoo is reinventing the wheel here, and it's not even very round. But that still makes them increasingly competitive with you-know-whoogle, which is weirdly derailed these days.
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Old 02-03-2005   #5
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Quote:
I did not see any wording of "Sponsored Sites" or any other, so let's keep an eye out for when they start monetizing on it. I'm sure it take a while for website owners to install on their pages and users to use in their browsers.
I asked them about this and they said there were no plans to do it in the near future. But I'm sure it will come. If they do that, provide sponsored links along with editorial results and give publishers a slice of revenues, they'd have a real challenger to Google AdSense.
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Old 02-03-2005   #6
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Is the Q in Y!Q Quigo?

I remember that Quigo's technology was integrated in Overture's contextual advertising offering. Can Quigo be the 'Q' in Y!Q?
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Old 02-06-2005   #7
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If you're wondering about the name, it's play on "IQ". Knowledge often comes from combining information with the relevant context, so it seemed like an appropriate name.

This is taken from the blog posting at: http://www.ysearchblog.com/archives/000074.html where you can read more about it.
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Old 04-01-2005   #8
Craig Fifield
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sweet little tool, I don't know how I managed to miss this until today. good job Y! off to play...
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