Yahoo's Answer to Google's Universal Search is Glue (Coming Soon to America)


Sometimes the only way to get new products out the door at a big company like Yahoo is to launch it far away from HQ. That’s what happened with Yahoo Glue, a new way to present search results more visually that Yahoo is experimenting with on its Yahoo India site. Much like Google’s Universal Search that brings in results from images, videos, maps, news, or other sources as appropriate. It is also similar in appearance to Ask since its redesign last summer.

Yahoo Glue only works for certain categories of searches (sports, travel, entertainment, health, stocks, and tech), but it does produce a more satisfying experience than the traditional list of blue links. The only issue is that the results take a little bit longer to load. But humans are visual creatures and we respond better to the visual display of information. Yahoo Glue brings in results in three different panes, both from Yahoo and elsewhere. They can be images, videos, Wikipedia entries, HowStuffWorks entries, sports stats, and news, and results from other sources.

Search for the “Taj Mahal” and you get pictures and videos of the Taj Mahal, and a link to the Wikipedia entry. Search for “Halle Berry” and you get a bio, pics, YouTube videos, news, and results from Yahoo Answers. Search for “soccer” and you get league tables. The traditional link results are still available in the narrow left-hand column, but you almost ignore them.

This is not just a random project in India. Expect to see Yahoo Glue imported to the U.S. sometime this summer, says one industry source.

Combine it with Yahoo’s SearchMonkey project, which allows developers to change the way search results are displayed, and Yahoo Glue starts to get interesting. Yahoo doesn’t have to create the templates for every single search category. Developers can do that and, in the process, make Yahoo Glue a truly sticky app.

(Photo by Will Fuller).