Yahoo gets it.
I haven’t used Yahoo in ages. But this shows promise. Why?
1) Search clustering and filtering (and pivoting around individual results) are all ideas that I pushed heavily amongst the Search Champs. The fact that Yahoo is doing work in this area shows that they aren’t content to follow Google or MSN every step of the way. They understand that to beat Google, you can’t just be “about as good.” If you want to beat Google, you have to change the way people search. MSN Search right now reminds me a bit of John Kerry. It’s saying “Look at me! I’m as good as Google, but I’m not Google! Pick me!“
Also, Google can play around with “extras” because they’re in the lead. The other players can’t afford to get caught up in the little things… they need to think big. They need to, pardon the phrase, think different.
2) Yahoo is being more transparent. Like Google’s “Google Labs” page, and MSN’s “Sandbox” effort – Yahoo is letting you see (and experience) what they’re working on. On one hand, I applaud this. On the other hand, it isn’t the kind of revelation I described above… But rather, it’s a necessity if they want to compete in this market.
3) The “AJAX“ approach rocks. I love sites that update/change their content without having to refresh the entire page. Hotmail needs to do this ASAP.
4) They bought Flickr… so they’ve already been on my good side as of late 🙂