Yahoo! plans to unveil a project codenamed "Search Monkey," at the inaugural Search Marketing Expo West conference. Search Monkey is a set of open-source tools that allow users and publishers to annotate and enhance search results associated with specific web sites.
The new enhancements differ from Yahoo's "Shortcuts" that sometimes appear at the top of search result pages. Shortcuts are served by Yahoo whenever the search engine is confident that the shortcut links are more relevant than the other web search results on the page. Often, shortcuts highlight content from Yahoo's own network of sites.
The new enhancements can be applied to any web site. Publishers can add additional information that will be displayed with the web search result. For example, retailers can include product information, restaurants can include links to menus, reviews, local merchants can display operating hours, address and phone information, and so on—far more information than a Title, URL and description that make up current generation search results.
"Traditionally, we talk about results and results only. The interesting thing we're adding here is the ability to annotate someone's results," said Amit Kumar, product lead for the open search platform.
These "apps" will be unique to each web site, and will contain content that's directly relevant to each particular site. As Vish Makhijani, SVP & GM, Yahoo! Search wrote on the Yahoo Search Blog:
“For example, by sharing its database of restaurant reviews, location information and photos with Yahoo!, Yelp can develop a far more visually compelling and useful search result than was previously presented to users. Here how it works: website owners like Yelp, WebMD, The New York Times, and anyone else can supply us with their data and our patented Machined Learned Ranking helps ensure these results are presented to users at the right time. Users benefit because their search results will have more useful information than they did before from websites they trust. And websites benefit through increased and higher quality traffic from Yahoo! Search. Here is an example of what it will look like:“
If you’re interested in learning more about Yahoo's open search platform, you can do so live and in person if you’re attending SMX West. Amit Kumar, the product lead for the open search platform, will be discussing it at a special lunch talk (Session time: 12:30pm to 1:00pm, Location: Santa Clara Convention Center, Great America J).
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