Bring the B(l)ing: Yahoo Search Gets a Makeover, is it Signalling an End to Yahoo’s Search Autonomy

While they never got to hold hands in holy matrimony Yahoo and Microsoft did seem to reach a cordial agreement regarding doing certain things together with their deal a couple of months back. There were talks then that Bing would become the new search that powers Yahoo, though later a complete change was denied. This even though Bing was going to be the exclusive core algorithm that would power Yahoo search.

Now Mashable reports that Yahoo has revamped its search results page. And it looks like a distant cousin of Bing. We don’t know what prompted this change in appearance, though it wouldn’t be wise to suggest this has to do something with Bing’s technology per se, however it can’t be totally ruled off. Some of the notable revisions are Left hand navigation, exploring related concepts, people search, etc.

It wasn’t long ago that people started predicting Yahoo Search’s doomed future. The fact that its new CEO was hard selling the fact that yahoo is not a search company and that it is instead a value portal didn’t help the cause. Search marketing experts were left seething at the treatment meted out to a service that clearly has immense scope left. Danny Sullivan in fact wrote an eulogy for Yahoo Search that somehow fits now.

Yahoo has now gone the Microsoft way and launched a $100 million campaign of its own. And it is focusing on the same notion that Carol Bartz is intent on sending across to everyone. That Yahoo is a value and entertainment destination and it offers everything to everyone..not just search. It however is interesting to note here that Google has become everything on the web to everyone and it is curiously trying to reiterate the fact that it is a search engine. Two starkly different approaches from two iconic names who directly compete in a different game.

Is this therefore the first nail in a coffin they called for Yahoo Search? Microsoft of course would be smiling somewhere in Redmond at its first tangible gain on Yahoo domain, a search section that mimics its own.

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