Local and Yahoo! Search (Monkey) Gallery

Yahoo!’s Search Monkey project is very interesting for many reasons. For one, it allows third party publishers to customize and brand their search results. Search has been something of a brand destroyer historically, turning most sites into simple content sources for the engines. That’s why it’s very interesting that brands and publishers can now build these Search Monkey widgets, which are essentially third-party versions of Yahoo! Shortcuts.

They show show up like this in search results on Yahoo!:

Recipes

Yelp on Yahoo

Trulia on Yahoo

Yahoo! has built a gallery that allows individuals to quickly customize their search results:

Gallery

And here are the currently available “local” apps (although there are others not under this heading):

Local

Users can easily manage the addition or removal of the widgets.

What these widgets mostly do, as a pratical matter, is call out or differentiate the results of the selected content publishers or sites. But that can be valuable to users and certainly to publishers trying to get attention on a crowded and noisy search results page.

Developers can also build their own mashup widgets, which offers other interesting possibilities to users. This is a more elegant version of what Google was initially trying to do with Coop (which has since turned into Google Custom Search Engine).

The fundamental issue, however, is how much usage will this get? It strikes me that it will appeal perhaps to power users and the toolbar set, which drives about 15% of search if I remember correctly.

The general effort here is toward greater overall utility and personalization of search, which will continue to be a direction that the industry goes. It’s also consistent with Yahoo!’s new more “open” strategy.

3 Responses to “Local and Yahoo! Search (Monkey) Gallery”

  1. doncampbell Says:

    I agree usage is the fundamental issue Greg.
    At the SearchMonkey launch event many of us were urging Yahoo to turn on some “default” search apps for a few standard types of results. For example, if your website has to do with reviews, you can include certain meta data on a review page that will be crawled and picked up to show the review in the search results for your page. They are considering things like this to help with adoption. I’ve got a little more detail in my post What Yahoo SearchMonkey means for Small Business Websites
    Thanks for the great writeup.

  2. Greg Sterling Says:

    Good advice for SMBs on your post.

  3. MapQuest Builds New ‘Local Platform’ « Screenwerk Says:

    […] this simple menu replaced by a gallery of branded publisher widgets, like the iPhone Apps store or Yahoo! Search Monkey gallery. This quickly becomes a distribution platform or way to drive traffic to local publisher sites. […]

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