Yahoo may have lost its CEO and its long-held title of search engine king, but the beleaguered Internet giant isn't giving up on search just yet. In fact, Yahoo just rolled out new software that it claims re-imagines the way people search and browse the Web.
Dubbed Axis, the new technology offers what Yahoo argues is the only search experience to allow consumers to enter a search and see and interact with visual results -- all without leaving the pages they are on.
Axis does this by integrating with any desktop browser and automatically connecting online experiences across multiple devices. It's available now for iOS devices and as a desktop plug-in for HTML5-enabled browsers.
"Our search strategy is predicated on two core beliefs -- one, that people want answers, not links and two, that consumer-facing search is ripe for innovative disruption," said Shashi Seth, senior vice president of Connections at Yahoo. "With Axis, we have redefined and re-architected the search and browse experience from the ground up."
Instant Search Answers
That's the theory. But what does Axis look like in practice? Yahoo describes the innovation as a means to give you instant answers and visual previews so you can discover and explore content without interruption. The idea is to keep you moving forward in your search instead of returning to a page of blue links. You can swipe or click the next result on the results page.
Axis also allows you to move seamlessly across devices. For example, after you download Axis you can start a search on your computer, flip through the results while out on your iPhone, and finish the search at home on your iPad. It's akin to the concept of reading a Kindle book on multiple devices and picking up where you left off. Axis also lets you share content via e-mail, Pinterest and Twitter.
We asked Greg Sterling, principal analyst at Sterling Market Intelligence, his thoughts on Yahoo's latest market move. He explained to us that Yahoo Axis operates as a browser on the iPhone and iPad but as a browser plug-in on the PC .
"It's most impressive on the iPad and then on the iPhone, where it delivers an innovative visual search experience that completely eliminates the page of links that is the hallmark of traditional search results pages on the PC," Sterling said. "The ability to sync content across screens, while not unique, is also a useful feature." (continued...)