Yahoo's Webzari visualizes link search

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The Yahoo! Korea team has launched a service called Webzari for visualizing the weight of inbound links to any web page and saving the visualization query history in Yahoo!’s social bookmarking service. The interface is in Korean, and it’s not entirely clear how well it works yet, but the basic feature set is discernible and it’s an intriguing thought for the future. The Yahoo! Search team seeks feedback on the project on its blog.

Half useful and half fun, Webzari joins a list of recent visualization initiatives from big vendors. Visualization’s not just for the little guys anymore. We covered the new Digg Labs visualization tools before launch last week.

The idea here is that Yahoo! Site Explorer will give you a list of sites linking to a URL, but that Webzari makes it easy to see quickly how big in links or pages each of those sites are and where they are based geographically. It could work like a Technorati link search displaying “authority” and geographic information in flash. Pretty nice.

I asked Dana Smith, a concept developer at “visual thinking company” XPLANE about Webzari and she told me that it’s a good example of visualization helping users “see the forest and the trees” more quickly than text alone. The service could be improved, she said, if the nodes included site logos or some other unique image because “it’s the uniqueness of each entity that makes visualization really powerful.” I don’t think a lot of visualization projects focus on that.

I use Technorati to search for links all the time and I usually want to know about the number of inbound links to each of the sites in my search results. Webzari’s visual representation of search results is quite useful and I would love to see the feature included in English language Yahoo!

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