Yahoo! Clues Teaches You About Searching Online

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Director of Search Products at Yahoo! Brian Theodore insists it’s not just for companies. “They are more clinical oriented tools which is more interesting to the wider demographic,” Theodore said. For example, Yahoo! thinks the “search flow” function will appeal more to their average user. This item shows what previous words people searched for before deciding to look for the word you put in Yahoo! Clues. For example, with iPad, people typically try to find “iPad apps” before and after they decide to search for just “iPad.” Yahoo! is hoping that users who see these other options will go ahead and try looking for those other words as well, increasing the amount of searching they do on the site. On some searches on the main Yahoo! page they’re also including one or two factoids from Yahoo!Clues to try and draw more people to see the new project.

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“Whenever you go to Yahoo! search, wouldn’t you want to know just one factoid about one keyword?” Seth said. “This gives you an incentive to get more information. Clues’ data give more value to our users and drives more traffic. It has lots of interest to various people who want to know how are you doing this, why are you doing this? That’s exactly what we want to know too.”

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Yahoo! Clues is currently in beta stage, with no set date when the site will be at its full functionality. Theodore added they will be adding more terms and updating the program as they go along, so users should keep checking in for new functions. The company has no plans as of now to monetize the operation, perhaps providing some of this information for free and additional more detailed analytics behind a paywall for interested parties, but it is always an option. Right now, with only limited promotion, they claim they’ve been getting a lot of buzz and are very happy with the product and just focusing on the current moment.

“When you start drilling down into the information it’s pretty eye-opening,” Seth said. “You assume other things, and when the facts are presented it shows you something completely different.”

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