Yahoo announced today that that it’s improving its search results by allowing sites to deliver embedded content such as videos or games in their results.
This is a very cool feature using SearchMonkey, Yahoo’s platform for delivering richer search results. And it makes sense as a next step, given SearchMonkey’s general mission to provide search results that are more useful than just a few lines of text. In the past, that has included improvements like review summaries from Yelp and basic data from someone’s profile on business networking site LinkedIn. Now, you can just add a few lines of code to your site, and the video, document, or game, or document that you have embedded in your content is also viewable in the search results — so I could watch videos from Hulu on the Yahoo search results page. Since embedding a video already requires adding code, it’s not like this makes the process much more onerous, either.
Yahoo says it’s working with leading video sites like Hulu and YouTube for now, but is looking to add compatibility with other sites that provide the embeddable content.
I’m a bit divided on how important this is for Yahoo Search. On the one hand, watching, say, an episode of the TV show Dollhouse in my search results is definitely a “wow” moment — moreso than just seeing a Yelp review, for example. And I think Yahoo needs those “wow” moments in order to win users back from Google. On the other hand, do you really care about watching a video in your search results? And if, say, I embedded a cool video I found on YouTube in a VentureBeat, do I really want to encourage readers to watch that video without clicking on the article?
At the end of the day, it’s confidence in the general quality of the search rankings that’s still the deciding factor, not the bells and whistles attached to those rankings. Still, it’s encouraging to see Yahoo continuing to innovate with search and with ways to make money off search programs like Yahoo BOSS.