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Your Web Can be Yahoo's Latest MyWeb

Yahoo wants to give social search to the people, and it hopes to bring it with MyWeb.

Six months after purchasing del.icio.us, Yahoo has updated its MyWeb social search site, which takes a page out of the del.icio.us book of search and Internet trolling.

Some of the new features will include new "Top Tags" and "Interesting Tags" sections, as well as an improved "Tag Finder" to allow better connectivity between users. It's all to make the product useful for the regular folks, Tom Chi, product leader for MyWeb, told internetnews.com.

But it's the update's near integration of social and algorithmic search that's got Yahoo excited.

"None of this will be helpful or useful or change our market share if we're not able to integrate it somehow into Web search," Yahoo spokesperson Kathryn Kelly told internetnews.com.

"It's definitely a focus, and that's the whole purpose we got into social search to begin with."

The integration of social and algorithmic search means more market share for Yahoo for two main reasons, experts say.

First, there's the fact that social search is more useful sometimes.

Social search engines search the meta-data that a community attaches to a site, which is useful because a site's purpose isn't necessarily on the site. For example, no one says the words "action film" in the Terminator, for example.

The second reason experts think Yahoo is so interested in social search is the financial incentive.

If a community member is labeling Web sites for Yahoo, then Yahoo is going to turn around and tell marketers what kind of Web sites its users like to browse. Marketers will try to match those sites with brands.

Earlier this year, Google released Google Notebook and Google Co-Op, two applications that use social search.

Google Notebook users can bookmark a site and then attach meta-data to it in note form. They can save the notes privately or make them public and, therefore, searchable.

Co-op allows users to select an expert to tag sites for them. When the user searches using certain words, that expert's results appear on top.

"Both the products we launched are essentially adding community effects to Google's core algorithm," Shashi Seth, Google product manager, told internetnews.com.

But neither fully integrate social search with algorithmic search.

And neither does Yahoo's MyWeb update. But according to Chi, Yahoo isn't worried.

"We are ahead in social search," Chi said, "And we're not resting."