Yahoo adds Search Pad feature


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At Yahoo headquarters in Sunnyvale. Credit: Franco Folini via Flickr.

Yahoo says it will roll out a new feature tomorrow afternoon that automatically detects when users of its search engine are gathering research on a particular topic and saves their results in one place.


Called Search Pad, the feature is supposed to solve a problem that many researchers on the Web have -- how to keep track of those bits of information they dig up from multiple websites. Say you’re planning a vacation to Hawaii and you’re looking up car rentals, hotel reviews and flight information. Yahoo says its search engine will recognize what you’re doing, save the search results on a single notepad, let you write notes on those sites and allow you to share your research results with friends.

Search analysts who have seen and used the feature say it’s useful but not a game changer for the Sunnyvale, Calif., company, which is struggling to compete with Google for search advertising. In May, Yahoo’s market share for Internet searches was 20%, second place behind Google, which claimed a 65% share, according to ComScore.

‘For existing Yahoo users, it can be valuable,’ said Greg Sterling, an analyst in Oakland who reviewed the feature in February when in rolled out in beta to selected users. ‘But I don’t think it will dramatically increase their market share.’

-- Alex Pham