Ancestor of web-search tools, Yahoo seemed outdated and disproportionate when Google, stripped and high performance, first appeared in the late 90s but Yahoo now offers new functions leading local search, media and hard drive. While Google still has a slight advantage when it comes to current research, Yahoo offers video search and a bar customization and beaten tools.
To avoid being overwhelmed by the news and the weather forecast, click on the Yahoo Search button: you will get almost as bare page than Google.
The home page of Yahoo is rather crowded: link directory, news headlines, weather, animated ads and multiple promotions. The input box, placed at the top of the page, is topped by tabs labeled Web, Images, Video, Directory, Local, News and Products (Web, Images, Videos, News, Shopping in the French version of the site). If you prefer a more spartan page, like Google, click on the Yahoo Search button, then you get content that is reduced to the entry area of the application with customizable tabs, recent messages in your mail box and Yahoo news headlines (titles and messages can also be hidden).
On the results page, click on “More pages from this site” for more related information.
For each result, Yahoo displays a title, a brief description, a link to more pages from the site, topics and link to the version of the page stored in the cache. Promotional links are well identified in rectangular shaded areas. Shortcuts are a set of keywords that lead directly to news sites, images, videos, etc., note that they are less sophisticated than those offered by AOL and Ask Jeeves. The image searches return thumbnails, with resolution, file size and hyperlink. Filter images based on their size is possible via the advanced search options. Video research consistently show thumbnails (only research multimedia AltaVista – which also is owned by Yahoo – offers the same possibility). Advanced video options allow filtering by type, size and duration.
Local searches are excellent, but are for the United States currently. Since the US version of Yahoo, simply specify a departure address to get results sorted by distance. Finally, Yahoo offers a toolbar, one of the best we have examined, with pop-up blocking, customization options, and integrated utility against spyware. Yahoo also just made available a hard drive search utility that creates an index of the files and email to allow almost instantaneous subsequent responses. One of the few features that Yahoo lacks is the ability to keep the research already carried out. However, the like LookSmart, Yahoo is testing a backup utility cache favorite pages.
The Yahoo help page provides adequate descriptions of different possible search categories and details examples with particular operators (like intitle limiting the search keywords in titles, excluding the text body). The help of Yahoo is however less comprehensive than Google.