Sourced from Search Engine WatchYahoo has enhanced its My Yahoo service with personalisation features including search history, the ability to save pages to a “personal web” and block URLs from appearing in search results.
Reached at My Yahoo Search, the new features available to registered users of My Yahoo are similar to those recently introduced by a9.com and Ask Jeeves, although Yahoo plans to differentiate the service in future enhancements.
Search results with My Yahoo Search resemble standard web search results, with additional options added to each individual listing. These options are “Save,” “Save with Note,” “Share” and “Block Site.” Clicking “save” saves the search result to your personal collection of web pages.
“Save with note” allows you to add an annotation to the saved listing. “Share” sends the search result via Yahoo email to any recipient, and “Block Site” blocks all pages from a site in any future search results.
Also new at the top of search result pages are links to “Visited Results” and “My Web.” Visited results is a list of pages that you clicked through to read from search results. You can easily toggle this feature on or off depending on whether you want a record kept of your browsing behavior.
“My Web” is the list of all pages you have saved. Both visited results and my web lists can be sorted by title, date, URL, or “how I found it,” a cool feature that organizes results based on the query terms you used to generate them.
Once you’ve saved search results, you can organize them into categories. These categories can be added to your My Yahoo home page by clicking a small blue plus sign icon appearing next to a category.
Once you’ve created your own collection of saved web results, you can search for saved entries. While this sounds like a great idea, it’s a weak feature in this implementation of My Yahoo personal search, because the search only matches keywords in the limited information in saved search results rather than the full text of the underlying pages.
Unless you use very specific keywords when you’re searching your saved results, you may not get any matches, even for pages you are certain you’ve saved.
This limitation will go away when Yahoo begins indexing the full text of saved pages sometime in the future. But for the moment, searching saved pages isn’t much more sophisticated (or useful) than searching bookmarks.
Yahoo has also limited the number of saved results to 1000. Contrast these limitations with Looksmarts newly acquired Furl service, which indexes the full text of pages and offers a virtually limitless 5 gigabytes of storage.
In all, the new My Yahoo Search is well implemented and easy to use, but doesn’t offer compelling reasons to use it unless you’re looking for what amounts to an enhanced bookmark utility that’s tied to Yahoo search results. It’s great to see companies like Yahoo and Ask Jeeves taking baby steps toward true personalisation of search results.