Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) has repeatedly said that even when it completely integrates Microsoft’s back-end technology its search results will distinguish themselves from Bing by looking very different. And, while Yahoo and Bing search results have always had some different features, new “enhancements” to Yahoo search rolling out in the U.S. this evening are the clearest indication of this strategy yet.
Yahoo is now including a box at the top of results when a user searches for some common terms. Search for ‘The Social Network,’ for instance, and users see a box featuring a summary of the film, a break-down of recent ratings, a link to the trailer, as well as the latest news and tweets about the film. There’s also a way to add the film to a user’s Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) queue directly from the results page. Bing, by contrast, presents a list of upcoming showtimes at the top of its results for the film, as does Google.
Yahoo is also revamping its Image Search results to include slideshows for some queries (In the past, analysts have said that Yahoo was artificially inflating its search market share by adding slideshows that count as individual queries, although comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) has since adjusted the way it counts searches).
None of the changes is as radical as what Yahoo had said it might do in the past. A year-and-a-half ago, for instance, Yahoo showed off a futuristic search user interface, which only included a summary box for some queries or only images, rather than any standard links at all.
Still, the changes to Yahoo search come as new Yahoo chief product officer Blake Irving said earlier this month that the company planned to speed up its shipping cycle. He said that as part of that effort both Yahoo search results, as well as Yahoo Mail, would be getting upgrades. More are apparently on the way.
Here’s a video showing the changes: