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Report: Consumers Are Suffering From "Web Search Fatigue"

99% of online adults use a search engine but only 15% find what they're looking for

Recent research conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yahoo! on the state of the Web shows that consumers are suffering from "Web search fatigue." The study revealed that while 99% of online adults use a search engine to find information on the Internet, a mere 15% of them find what they're looking for with their first search, with most needing to conduct three to four searches.

In response, Yahoo! Search yesterday announced Search Assist, calling it "the most advanced assistance technology available on the Web, and the integration of audio, video and photos directly into the search results to help make Web search effortless for consumers."

The new Yahoo! Search was designed to better understand user intent and get consumers to the results they are looking for in one search.

"The new Yahoo! Search is focused on getting consumers the most relevant information as well as providing the best user experience. We know that consumers want a complete answer, not a bunch of links, and the changes we've made are focused on getting people to the best answer -- whether it be a Web link, photo, video or music clip -- in one search," said Vish Makhijani, general manager and senior vice president of Yahoo! Search.

Yahoo! Search Assist goes beyond basic search "suggestions," said Makhijani, and gives consumers real-time query suggestions as well as related topics and concepts, which is especially valuable when a person is searching on an unfamiliar topic.

"Yahoo! Search Assist is there for consumers when they need it and is out of their way when they don't," he noted.

Yahoo! Search Assist senses when a consumer needs help with their search and opens a drop down menu of suggestions and related concepts (see above) that enables further exploration around their search topic.

In addition to the new Search Assist feature, Yahoo! Search has also introduced multimedia integration including video, audio and photos (see diagram left) directly into the search results, allowing consumers to get their answer -- whether it's a Web link, photo, video or music clip -- without leaving the page.

As part of the new Yahoo! Search, consumers will also see new Yahoo! Search Shortcuts, with the most useful information found on the Web and contributed by other online users. The new shortcuts were designed to help consumers save time when searching for popular categories such as events, music, movies, travel, sports, health, shopping, businesses and restaurants (see diagram 3). Yahoo! Search Shortcuts integrate ratings and reviews, photos, official websites and other useful information, giving consumers a complete answer for their search.

The new Yahoo! Search features are available immediately at yahoo.com in the United States, and Yahoo! Search Assist will also be available in the near future in the United Kingdom.

More Stories By Web 2.0 News Desk

The Web 2.0 Journal News Desk keeps you up to speed with all that's happening in the world of the read/write Web and all its mushrooming new facets - from tagging, wikis, mash-ups, and image-sharing to "Advertising 2.0," podcasting, and The Writeable Web.

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