Yahoo tests Search Pad to ease online research

The online pioneer has begun testing a new service that detects when you're performing in-depth research and helps you keep track of many search results.

Yahoo Search Pad lets you keep track of pages uncovered dearing what Yahoo technology determines is a research session.
Yahoo Search Pad lets you keep track of pages uncovered dearing what Yahoo technology determines is a research session. (Click to enlarge.) Yahoo

As part of its effort to invigorate its search engine, Yahoo has begun testing a new project called Search Pad designed to detect when you've begun in-depth research and help you keep track of your results.

Yahoo Search Pad keeps track of search query terms used at the site and, when it detects a trend, offers to save the result in an online document. If you take its advice, it shows you a page already populated with the Web sites you've visited on the subject.

Through the Web-based application, you can annotate results, delete pages you don't like, and reorder the ones you do. And when you copy text in from other Web sites you didn't reach through Yahoo search, the application automatically looks up their Web address and adds it in.

"It's our hope that the people doing research with Yahoo are able to be more effective. That may drive more engagement or drive them to come back more often," said Larry Cornett, vice president for product for Yahoo Search.

Yahoo has begun publicly testing the service, but only with a small, randomly-selected fraction of its users, the company said, and the service should be enabled for all users in coming months.

When Yahoo's technology thinks you're conducting relatively in-depth research, it will suggest you begin a Search Pad on the subject.
When Yahoo's technology thinks you're conducting relatively in-depth research, it will suggest you begin a Search Pad on the subject. Yahoo

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About the author

Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and covers browsers, Web development, digital photography and new technology. In the past he has been CNET's beat reporter for Google, Yahoo, Linux, open-source software, servers and supercomputers. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces.

 

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