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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yahoo challenges Google with instant search

In an effort to keep pace with its competitors, Yahoo announced on Wednesday a new search function called Direct Search. The feature acts similar to Google's Instant tool, predicting what users are searching for based on the characters entered thus far.

This is probably Yahoo's answer to a similar Google Inc. feature called Instant Search. Both start making suggestions with the first keystroke, and Google and Yahoo both suggest a list of possible search terms that changes as people type.

But while Google immediately populates a search results page with blue links, Yahoo displays a box with instant information and answers for some types of searches at

For example, start typing "Berlin." By the time you get to "berl," Yahoo has put together an information box with the current local time, things to do in the city, links to pages about hotels, restaurants and flights, a photo of a city landmark and a small map.

Well, it pretty much is like Google's Instant Search. But Yahoo says it's different. It's based on answers, not on links.

"They're very different products. We're focused on providing answers, not links. Google Instant is focused on providing more links, faster. Not answers," Yahoo said.

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