The latest improvement is an open platform for sharing extra information with Yahoo!'s search engine: "Instead of a simple title, abstract and URL, for the first time users will see rich results that incorporate the massive amount of data buried in websites -- ratings and reviews, images, deep links, and all kinds of other useful data -- directly on the Yahoo! Search results page."
For example, launch partner WebMD
The idea is to make the search data more relevant to the user, and I think that opening the back-end interfaces to some degree is a very smart effort that could put a thorn in Google's
Of course, there's nothing to stop Google or Ask.com parent IAC
For now, Yahoo! gets an advantage with these improved search results. But if you drop a better mousetrap in the woods and nobody is there to search it, does it catch a user? Some end-user marketing would be in order, Jerry. Pull this one off the right way, and Microsoft's bid could end up looking ridiculous -- just the way you want it.
Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try a free 30-day trial of the value-investing newsletter.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund is a Google shareholder but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure always has the right answer.