Yahoo Adds Twitter to News Results
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Yahoo is ready to step up the pace in the race to provide the best real-time news. Today the Web giant rolled out improved search results for news stories, including a tab for Twitter results that includes relevant videos shared by Twitter users.
"We've been focused on making search more personally relevant for people and getting them the content that matters most to them," Larry Cornett, vice president of consumer products at Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO), told InternetNews.com. "I think this shows how we're continuing to innovate Yahoo search."
Following the change, when you do a Yahoo search on something news-related, like "Obama," four shortcut tabs appear to refine the search: News, Photos, Video and Twitter.
If it's breaking news, the Twitter tab will show two of the most relevant and timely Tweets on the subject in the top two results as well as relevant videos, if there are any, to the right side, followed by a link to more Twitter results. The rest of the page shows more traditional Yahoo results.
Cornett said Yahoo applies a special algorithm to get at the freshest and most relevant content from Twitter.
The news comes on the heels of recent announcements from Microsoft's Bing search engine and from Google, each of which has plans to integrate Twitter feeds on their own search results.
Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) now already offers a separate search results page of relevant Twitter feeds while Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) said it plans to integrate Twitter into its results this year.
Yahoo focuses on search innovation regardless of Bing
Cornett also made a point of explaining that this latest update is a Yahoo innovation that has nothing to do with the company's pending deal to outsource its search infrastructure to Microsoft.
"We're still in the middle of reaching a definitive agreement [with Microsoft]. This is fully a Yahoo experience, top to bottom," he said. "And it will continue to be offered no matter how things turn out."
In explaining its complicated arrangement with Microsoft, Yahoo officials have said they will continue to control the front end interface or the consumer experience. The deal calls for Microsoft to take over the backend infrastructure, including the massive plumbing and datacenters that make searching through millions of Web sites in a fraction of a second possible.
Yahoo also will share ad revenue with Microsoft as part of the deal.
"This is our first integration of fresh social content like Twitter into Web search, and we are planning to continue further along these lines," Ivan Davtchev and Nitzan Achsaf of Yahoo's search team said in a blog post announcing the new features. "In the future, we will enhance this experience with more real-time and exciting content so you can find all the information you need about a news event in one place."