April 26, 2005
Yahoo has just launched Yahoo MyWeb which adds search history (like google’s) but adds the social aspect of it by allowing you to also save searches, syndicate them using RSS, and they’re even experimenting with AttentionXML…and, as is standard with Yahoo these days, there is an API (woohoo!).
Well, as usual, I decided to try it out. I logged in and turned on search history…but when I went into myweb after conducting a number of searches, I had a message that there was noting in my history! So I decided to try out the saving…but from the search pages, I could not find any links asking me to save those results. I read that when I do save, I get a snapshot of exactly the way it looks at that time…not just saving alink that takes me back to the current search with the query I searched for (which brings up a question of how far within the results are actually saved…so if I had millions of results, how much are cached?).
Anyway, I played around for a while and clicked on web sites within the results pages and went back…apparently, my search page isn’t saved in the history…just the items I clicked on. Then, I searched the page for “Save” and realized that I can’t save the search…I am just saving results within the search (same as the history). The problem is how do I know if I want to save an item until after I have already clicked on it, examined it, and had already left Yahoo…that’s the purpose of bookmarking through the browser’s tools…but, according to their information, Yahoo states they added functionality to their Yahoo toolbar (but I haven’t tested or seen what it does).
While this may be an interesting utility, it is more of a bookmark/del.icio.us list rather than a search tool. I originally was wondering why I would want to import bookmarks or how that would be integrated when I read it on their site…but now that I understand how that works, it makes sense.
I also have the ability to block a result…but doing so just doesn’t show it in the results on the page it is supposed to be…but there is essentially a placeholder for it because when I search again, I see results number up to 9 out of the 36MM results for my search with a message at the bottom that an item is blocked from that page.
I really wish they allowed me to save searches and maintain history of the searches. Especially if they tied this in with all of their properties (my searches for local, video, searches in my mails, etc). I currently do not see any tie-in to any of the other properties other than their main/algorithmic search.
If these features do exist, then their UI is not very intuitive or I might have caught them in the middle of the release (since I just came across it right now) but I doubt it. If saving searches did exist, the ability to file them and organize them would be very useful.