Yahoo Searchmonkey Now Matters

I’ve been following Yahoo Searchmonkey pretty closely, just waiting for its enhanced search listings to matter.

While I don’t want to take too much credit – I won’t take any, really – within days of posting a presentation about Searchmonkey’s usability, they cut out a few of the steps.

The bigger change took a bit longer. My biggest problem is that if Searchmonkey improves results, Yahoo should do it automatically for users, or at least make it easy for webmasters to do it behind the scene with no user intervention. I mentioned as much in a column called The Customization Conundrum:

SearchMonkey can evolve into a service like Sitemaps,
the protocol for Webmasters to help search engines crawl their sites.
The end user generally has no clue that sitemaps exist, but sitemaps
improve the search experience nonetheless.

Yahoo’s now coming around. Here’s the pertinent info from CNET’s Webware:

The hitch for most companies that might want to use SearchMonkey to
gussy up their own search results on Yahoo, though, is that they
generally must convince users go to a SearchMonkey application gallery
and enable that specific SearchMonkey behavior. But on Thursday night,
Yahoo switched on three SearchMonkey options so all searchers will see
enhanced results from Yelp, a site that lets members review restaurants
and other businesses, Yahoo Local, which connects people with nearby
businesses, and LinkedIn, which lets members keep in touch with
contacts…

Yahoo said on its Search blog Friday that it’s judicious about which SearchMonkey applications it chooses to switch on.

Innovation like this is precisely why I hope Yahoo finds a way to stick it out independently.