Yahoo adds photos, tweets to news search

Newsy searches won't just produce links to stories now on Yahoo. Searchers will be able to see photos, videos, and tweets from the main search results page.

Yahoo is adding more context to news searches, bringing photos, videos, and even tweets into its search results page.

Searchers on Yahoo--who are dwindling--will find new results for newsy events Thursday, when Yahoo launches new tabs on the Yahoo News Shortcut. You've long been able to find links to news stories about a given search query through the shortcut, but you can now find other ways of telling the story with the new tabs, said Larry Cornett, vice president of consumer products for Yahoo Search.

Yahoo may be close to finalizing a deal to outsource the back end of its search business to Microsoft, but it insists that it's still a competitive search company with its decision to focus its research and development on new ways of presenting search results. The new shortcut is one such improvement, although one that's not all that different from what can be found on Google and Bing.

The main difference is that Yahoo will now provide the option of browsing images or tweets related to a given query without having to leave the search results page to click over to the Yahoo News section, Cornett said. Bing surfaces photos and video in its News section but not necessarily in its main search results page, and Google takes a similar approach.

Yahoo is using Twitter's public API to surface tweets, which are also run through a Yahoo algorithm to determine relevancy, Cornett said, declining to provide details on exactly how that works. Yahoo has not secured access to the "firehose" of tweets, whereas Microsoft and Google just signed deals for access to that data as part of their own bid to index tweets.

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